By Mark Yanai

The NEU Contribution

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“The secret to living is giving.” – Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within

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It’s that time again! Every six months we say Aloha and goodbye to the Northeastern University (NEU) Co-Ops that have been with us as part of our affiliation with their school. F&L is now in our eighth year with its partnership with Northeastern University’s Physical Therapy Cooperative Education Program.

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Our company accepts NEU physical therapy students as full-time employees and gives them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in an outpatient orthopedic clinical setting. They primarily assist our highly qualified physical therapists with outpatient care at our clinic locations in Honolulu and Windward Oahu, including the outdoor heated pool at the Kokokahi YWCA. The journey to Hawaii offers NEU students tremendous life-changing experiences as they strive to balance work, play and new discoveries during their six-month employment.

Our most recent Co-ops, Cody, Sarah and Teagan, were with us from January to June and were an integral part of our team. Cody spent most of his time at WORC and was an outstanding contributor in working with injured workers. He also was an integral part of the Performance Plus Program in training our F&L membership base in a personal training. Cody proved to be a quick learner and developed skills in instructing patients with tools such as sandbags, kettlebells, and suspension trainers.

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Teagan spent her time in the Aquatics program and with our private care patients at Lower Atherton. She definitely found a love for the pool and demonstrated the unique ability to work with the wide diversity of patients that are a part of Aquatics. She expressed to me that she may have found a career path with her time spent at Kokokahi.

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Sarah was our first homegrown Co-op student, having graduated from Iolani Schools. She was our utility Co-op bouncing from the Windward side at the pool and our Kailua clinic to working exclusively at our Kuakini clinics. The Co-op experience is valuable for students who haven’t experienced the islands so this was the first time that we had someone who was with us primarily for the clinical experience. Look forward to reading about her experience, as well as the others, in an upcoming blog.

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F&L’s relationship with NEU’s co-op program is unique. F&L’s commitment to the physical therapy profession is one reason why we dedicate our time and resources to this relationship. Each staff member is responsible to contribute to the growth and learning of the co-ops so that the profession continues to expand to higher levels. This responsibility is not listed on anyone’s job description but it is a large part of our culture and values. There is no richer emotion in life than the sense that something you have said or done has somehow enhanced someone’s life. We recognize our staff’s contribution to the NEU program as well as the how these young professionals enhance our lives in such a short time.

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We wish the three students our best wishes and thank them for their hard work and dedication. We hope that our paths cross again and that one day we employ them again.

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We greet our new co-ops, Connor and Victoria (look for more about them in my next blog).

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By Mark Yanai

The New Co Ops Are Here! Meet Sarah! (Part 3)

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[image title=”Sarah Agustin, NEU Co-Op Student” caption=”Sarah Agustin, NEU Co-Op Student”]https://fukujilumpt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/image1-e1423520370765.jpg[/image][/fancy_images]
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MEET SARAH!

Sarah Agustin is our third Co-op from NEU who joined F&L this January.  She is a graduate student in the physical therapy program and will soon graduate later this year. Sarah is also our very first student who is “homegrown” right here in the islands from the Nuuanu area.

Here’s a little bit about Sarah and her perspective of what it feels like to be from Hawaii and going away to the mainland for school.

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?

I was born and raised in Honolulu and graduated from Iolani School in 2008. I completed my undergraduate degree at Concordia University in Irvine, CA majoring in Athletic Training. I am currently a Post-Baccalaureate of Physical Therapy at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?

Being in the athletic training program I had the opportunity to shadow several physical therapists and see the impact they made on athletes’ lives. Seeing the process from acute care to post op, I knew this was my niche. 

Why did you want to do your Northeastern Co-op in Hawaii?

Being from Hawaii I wanted to find a way to return to the islands to give back to the community. F&L offered a wide variety of therapy services that i could learn from which will allow me to build a better foundation.

What has your experience been like so far?

I was excited to return home after being away for a year to enjoy warm weather, ono grinds, and family and friends. I am excited to show the Co-op students what Hawaii has to offer.

What have you missed about Hawaii that you realized being away for college?

Being away for college I realized how lucky I was to live in Hawaii. I really missed the variety of foods and the Aloha spirit. I missed being able to wear my “rubbah slippahs” daily and not worry about the weather today, tomorrow or the next day.

What was the first thing that you were looking forward to eating when you came home?

Right off the plane my first stop was Nimitz BBQ for meat jun packed with a variety of Korean vegetables.  Over the next several weeks I enjoyed Grandma’s Filipino food, Poke bowls, and Helena’s Hawaiian food.

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Being the first Co-op from NEU to return to Hawaii at F&L, what are you hoping to find out about the experience?

During the first month at F&L I have witnessed a variety of skills and extensive knowledge throughout the staff.  I am hoping to gain a better understanding of each of their specialties and how I can apply it to my future career. Such as: Graston techniques, manual therapy, and aquatics.

What’s been unique about F&L from your other experience in physical therapy clinics?

F&L is unique in that they focus on creating relationships not only between their employees but also with their patients. I really value that F&L embraces change, encourages growth, and challenges me to grow in my profession.

What is on your to do list while here in the Islands?

On my bucket list is to do many different hikes but most of all tackling Kalalau on Kauai.  I also want to leave this Co-op experience with a better understanding of our profession.

What are your interests outside of school and work?

I love hiking, going to the beach, and spending quality time with my Ohana. I also love staying active and seeking new adventures.
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What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

I hope to be a therapist that has a vast understanding of various modes of physical therapy techniques. I have an interest in specializing in hand therapy and prosthetics.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

My greatest influence is my parents who have instilled the importance of a good work ethic. They have encouraged me to set high goals and to never give up.

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By Mark Yanai

The New PT Co-Ops are here! Meet Teagan (Part 2)

MEET TEAGAN!
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[image title=”Teagan Ferguson, NEU Co-Op Student” caption=”Teagan Ferguson, NEU Co-Op Student”]https://fukujilumpt.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/cody-e1422407033832.jpg[/image][/fancy_images]
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Teagan Ferguson is studying to become a physical therapist and is in her 4th year at Northeastern’s Physical Therapy program. She is returning to the islands to work for F&L as part of her school’s Co-Op program. Teagan is currently working at our Kaneohe Clinic and Aquatic Pool located at the Kokokahi YWCA.

Teagan told us about being in the physical therapy field and her experience in Hawaii these past few weeks.

What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?
I attended Haddam Killingworth High School in Higganum CT before graduating and continuing my education at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?
In high school I really liked engineering but knew I wanted to go into the medical field. Physical therapy was a mix between the two worlds for me and has turned out to be a pretty good fit.

Why did you want to do your Northeastern Co-Op in Hawaii?
I knew I wanted to do my co-op in Hawaii because it’s a place I’d love to return to after school. I’ve never really had a home town since I’ve moved a lot but Hawaii was where I was born. Since part of my family returned to the island it seemed like a good time to come back and see how things have changed.

What has your experience been like so far?
My experience so far has been amazing. I love that I can work in both aquatic and land therapy here and the PTs and PTAs that I’m working with are great teachers. All of the patients I’ve worked with are very friendly and I’m excited to enjoy the rest of my co-op.

What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?
The strangest thing I’ve eaten here is probably a Spam Musubi. It’s one thing I’d never had before and didn’t think I’d like.

What is on your to do list while here in the islands?
Visiting my family and taking my nephew to Hanama Bay are two big things on my to do list. I also plan on exploring more of the windward side of the island and spending some time by North Shore.

What are your interests outside of school and work?
Outside of work I enjoy taking photos of nature and animals as well as playing video games. Since being here I’ve really come to enjoy kayaking as well.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?
I would love to be an outpatient physical therapist and I’d like to do aquatic therapy at least part of the time.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?
My greatest influence is my mother as she’s always teaching us to both set big goals for ourselves and work out butts off to achieve them. She’s very supportive and let’s us make our own choices because she knows different people have different paths to being successful.

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Please give Teagana a warm Aloha when you see her at the pool or the Kaneohe clinic.
Next blog post: Meet Sarah!

By Mark Yanai

The New PT Student Co-Ops are Here! Meet Cody Gilliss (Part 1)

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For the past 7 years, F&L has been in partnership with Northeastern University’s Physical Therapy Cooperative Education Program. Twice a year our organization accepts outstanding NU physical therapy students as full-time employees and gives them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience in an outpatient orthopedic clinical setting. These students primarily assist our highly qualified physical therapists with outpatient care at our clinic locations in Honolulu and Windward Oahu, including the outdoor heated pool at the Kokokahi YWCA. The journey to Hawaii will offer students tremendous life-changing experiences as they strive to balance work, play and new discoveries during their 6-month employment.

We start this year with three excellent Co-Op students: Cody, Sarah, and Teagan, who will be working at various F&L clinics. They will be featured in the next few blog posts.

MEET CODY!
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Cody Gilliss, a 4th year student in Northeastern’s Physical Therapy program, decided to head out to the islands for his final Co-Op experience before he graduates. He is currently working with our therapists at the WORC location. We asked how his experience has been so far and here’s what he had to say!
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What school did you attend in high school and what’s your current college?

I attended Manchester-Essex Regional HS in Manchester, MA. I currently attend Northeastern University in Boston, MA. 

What drew you to study physical therapy and become a physical therapist?

After a great experience as a physical therapy patient myself several years ago, I realized what a rewarding and fun profession it is. It’s a great way for me to help others get back on their feet and back to what they love doing, whether it be their own jobs, extracurricular activities, or spending time with their family and loved ones. 

Why did you want to do your Northeastern Co-Op in Hawaii?

I really wanted a cultural and professional experience completely different than what I experience back in Boston. F&L is cutting-edge and has a way of treating patients that is not only effective, but unique and exciting for me to learn.

What has your Oahu experience been like so far?

My experience here on O’ahu has been fantastic. So far, I’ve been hiking (Olomana), sight-seeing the North Shore, and I also got to spend some time in town around the Ala Moana and Waikiki area.

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What’s the strangest thing that you’ve eaten since arriving?

Nothing too crazy. Although it’s not strange, Ahi poke bowls are 110% my new favorite food. After my first bite I knew that I’ll miss them once it’s time to leave!

What is on your to do list while here in the islands?

Surfing, learning about the Hawaiian culture, more hiking, and relaxing after a busy year at school.

What are your interests outside of school and work?

I grew up on the ocean back home, so anything related to the water. Surfing, beach, fishing, spending time on boats. I also spend a lot of my time around the gym as well.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

I hope to be a very well-rounded and well-educated therapist some day. I believe it is very important to be always educating myself about my profession even after I graduate. My professional journey has only begun as a student, but I know my time here in Hawai’i is a great stepping stone towards my professional future.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

My parents are by far my greatest influence in life. They motivate me every day to experience as much as I possibly can every day . They’re my #1 support system and I am truly grateful for everything they have done to get me where I am today.

 

We welcome Cody to the F&L Ohana and look forward to his stay with us for the next 6 months! 
Next blog post: Meet Teagan!

 

Resources:
By Mark Yanai

My Co-Op Experience Part Two – by Ariel H.

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It’s hard to believe that my experience in Hawaii has already come and gone. Living in Kaneohe for six months was an incredible, life changing experience. Five thousand miles is a long way to move from home, but at Fukuji and Lum I had my own family.

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Working at the Fukuji and Lum clinic brought new adventures every day. At work I was paired with my own mentor who would teach me about weekly topics of my choice. I was never given the answer, but instead guided along the way to discover the answers on my own. In the gym, the PTAs welcomed me as a student and soon trusted me to work with patients on my own. The positive energy in the gym made it hard not to keep a smile on, and I soon adopted the nickname “Giggles.” Before work once a week, a group of our coworkers would meet for the Thursday WOD (Workout of the Day). We would come up with a group workout and motivate each other as a team. At these weekly sweat sessions, I learned how to push myself to new limits and discovered how much my body is capable of. At the end of the day, I left work feeling so accomplished. The team at Fukuji and Lum became not only my coworkers, but also my friends.

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Outside the clinic, I explored as much as I possibly could in the short 6 months I had. Oahu has so much to offer, I spent my weekends hiking, boating, kayaking, cliff jumping, and exploring. With my best friend Jessica and the new friends we made on Oahu, we had no problem adopting the “Aloha” lifestyle. I hiked 3,000 steps to the top of the Stairway to Heaven, watched the sunrise from 10,000 feet at Haleakala, and listened to Jack Johnson play in his hometown. The beauty that Hawaii has to offer is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Not a day goes by that I don’t imagine myself back at Kaneohe Bay. I can say with certainty that my experience with Fukuji and Lum made me a better person. For now my time in Hawaii is over, but the friends and memories I made will stay with me forever.

Aloha,

Ariel

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By Mark Yanai

My Co-Op Experience by Jessica C.

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Working as a co-op student at Fukuji and Lum Physical Therapy was a once in a lifetime experience.  This co-op provided two very unique and meaningful opportunities: the opportunity to explore Hawaii and the opportunity to learn about physical therapy and the Fukuji and Lum Company.

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Hawaii has an exceptional culture and is home to some of the most breath-taking sites, interesting foods and friendly people in the world. I quickly learned that Fukuji and Lum also has a culture all its own and is far more than a company.  Instead, F&L is a family by nearly every definition of the word.  I will be lucky and hard-pressed to find another company with the level of professionalism, teamwork and genuine compassion that I saw at F&L.  As a student and employee, I was challenged daily to work directly with patients and to think critically about the purpose of chosen interventions and therapeutic exercises. However, in addition to building on my technical skills as a future physical therapist, I learned the importance of empathy and compassion in the making of truly effective patient interactions.

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Of the many things I learned in this experience, the true meaning of family and the Aloha spirit are among those that I will cherish forever. The overwhelming kindness and friendly nature of both F&L patients and co-workers alike, are qualities that I will continually strive to embody as both an individual and physical therapy professional.  This co-op program was far more than an educational experience for me; it was an opportunity for great personal and professional growth. After just 6 months, I left Hawaii a more independent, confident person, a more knowledgeable, prepared future PT, and a part of a wonderful new family.  For all of those things, I am truly and eternally grateful.

Aloha,

Jessica, Northeastern University Co-op Student

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