Couple’s Latest Mission Is Ohana Medical Group In Kailua
By PAIGE TAKEYA
One of the strangest things that Dr. Ken Filbeck ever saw on the job occurred in rural Australia. As he arrived at the emergency room to relieve the on-duty doctor, he found the man in the middle of sticking an IV into a snake-bitten dog.
And that’s just one of the many stories he and wife Kathy have accumulated through their work as doctor and nurse around the world.
They’ve served extensively in Thailand as part of their nonprofit Community of Blessing (COB), as well as in Australia and the Mainland. But they chose Hawaii as the place to establish their own family practice clinic, Ohana Medical Group.
The Filbecks originally came here because Kathy was pursuing a master’s degree in nursing at Hawaii Pacific University. But the location stuck – they loved Hawaii and it was close to
family. Plus they saw a dire need for more family practice doctors. Oahu is currently short 742 doctors to care for its current population, Ken estimates, and their Kailua clinic was formed to address that.
Something that Ken does find promising, however, is the Affordable Care Act. “It’s just meeting the needs of the people,” he said, praising the steps the ACA has taken to make healthcare more affordable and accessible.
The American system is quite different from anywhere else he’s practiced. But even more dear to his heart is health education. “The value of education for every kind of student and the ability to access that is so vital for the dynamic progression of our country. It’s so crucial – but we think that it goes hand-in-hand with a person’s health.”
Education and learning also tie into the Filbecks’ work outside the clinic. COB sets up mobile clinics in rural villages of Northern Thailand. No medical experience is necessary to join these missions, as they do the training.
Kathy said it just shows that “in medicine, you don’t necessarily need all the fancy technology” to make a difference. Those interested in joining or learning more about the mission should visit cmothailand.net.
Closer to home, Ohana Medical Group is up, running and eager to take on new patients. It was to hold a Hawaiian blessing Feb. 25 and open house for prospective clients that morning in the Kailua Medical Arts Building, 407 Uluniu St., Suite 113.
The Filbecks encourage any interested patients to just drop by and get acquainted during normal operating hours, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 380-3980 or visit ohanamedicalgroup.com.