Team therapy
a blessing

Kevin Lockette grows
his company while keeping
overhead in check

Taking care of the kapuna and other special populations of Hawaii is truly a gift. I am a physical therapist who, after 12 years, decided to open a private practice in 2001 with a focus that was different from most other private physical therapy practices.

At the start, the focus was a seating and positioning wheelchair clinic, and the services gradually evolved to other specialty services including amputee clinic; gait, balance and falls; neurological disorders such as stroke, MS and Parkinson's disease; and geriatric orthopedics.

For most of the first year, I was the only employee of my company, Ohana Pacific Rehab Services LLC. Today, I employ four physical therapists and two occupational therapists. Also, in addition to our original Honolulu Clinic, we are opening a satellite physical therapy clinic in Kailua this month.

Much of the success of the business goes to an informal partnership and a friendship with a colleague.

When I decided to enter into the risky waters of a start-up health care business, I approached other private-practice physical therapists to see if they had any interest in subleasing space for my small specialty service of providing wheelchair evaluations.

Derrick Ishihara is a physical therapist who has been in private practice for nearly 20 years. He had a vision of sharing the expensive overhead of a highly equipped clinic with multiple physical therapy providers in order to continue to provide one-on-one patient care without having the full burden of all of the overhead.

It was amazing how similar our vision and philosophy was and still is. Derrick took me in and has been a tremendous mentor and support system.

Our team now includes only licensed professionals with between 12 and 22 years of experience.

Our next chapter is opening a physical therapy clinic in Kailua, the town that I live in. My wife, Ginger, who is a physical therapist with 13 years' experience, will be leading this clinic. It was very attractive for us to treat our direct community and for Ginger to work in Kailua where she can be close to our two children.

The key to our success to date and our survival is to not compromise what got us this far. That is putting our patients first and providing hands-on care with experienced professionals while keeping our overhead low so we can afford to do this. I don't think that I can treat any other way. Despite the stress and risk of running a business, I feel truly blessed.

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