I was born in Andrews, South Carolina to parents who never attended school and grew up in Whiteville, North Carolina. I came to Hawaii by way of the Army. Serving as a military physician and chief of rheumatology at Tripler Army Medical Center for 15 years was a wonderful experience.I was the eighth child from a large family of five brothers and six sisters. I was the first in my family tree to finish high school, and I worked in the cotton and tobacco fields of the South until I left for college. Watching my parents work hard in the fields to provide for 11 children was a source of inspiration for me. Their work ethic has had a major impact on my work ethic in medicine. The medical care of African-Americans in the South was very poor when I was growing up. I wanted to give of myself and my time to effect a positive change in all people, and not just African-Americans. I have done that by giving back to the community through participating in health fairs and partnering with community organizations to provide health education.
A very charismatic chief of rheumatology at the Letterman Army Medical Center in California inspired me to specialize in rheumatology. He was an awesome teacher and possessed humanistic qualities worthy of emulating, and I admired the way he interacted with patients and their families. There was an opportunity for me to pursue my secondary specialty of pain management, and in 2000 I decided to build the program that we have now at the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG).At HPMG, specialists readily share their expertise to meet the needs of the members. Working here is truly enjoyable because we have a coordinated system that provides for all aspects of patient care. I sponsored seven pain management conferences here at HPMG from 2002 to 2007 with the world's leading experts as speakers. I spoke at those conferences on managing pain, and have also given interviews on numerous local TV and radio health news shows.At HPMG, I serve as chief of pain management. I am president of the Aloha State Chapter of the National Medical Association, and a member of the board of trustees of the National Medical Association (NMA). For the past 15 years, I have attended the NMA’s annual convention and was a speaker each year in rheumatology and pain medicine. In 2005 I spoke at Stanford Medical Center as a visiting professor, and at Beijing’s Peking University on the use of complementary and alternative medical therapies in the U.S.I serve on the advisory board of Arthritis Today Magazine, where I answer questions from patients requesting information about natural treatments. I also review articles and booklets that deal with natural supplements.I am board certified in internal medicine, rheumatology, and pain medicine.
Prayer, meditation, exercise, and eating nutritious meals help me to stay mentally and physically healthy.In my free time I enjoy playing tennis, sightseeing, and reading on the beach.