‘Blessed to be part of the team’

KAPAA — Princeville resident Alana Goo-Frazier advocates for healthy and energetic living.

“I enjoy an an active lifestyle, especially since I promote it to my patients. It’s something that’s important to me,” she said.

Personally, she shares her love of outrigger paddling with her husband Mark.

“I paddled on Oahu in high school, and that was where I got exposed to the sport — in the (Interscholastic League of Honolulu). I went to Iolani,” Goo-Frazier said Wednesday. “It wasn’t until I graduated college and came home, ended up meeting someone who’s now my husband, he introduced me to the long-distance aspect of the sport which really resonated with me.”

Locally, Goo-Frazier paddles with North Shore club Namolokama O’Hanalei Canoe Club.

She also competes with a Team Bradley, a crew made up of paddlers throughout the state, in the annual Na Wahine O Ke Kai outrigger canoe race. In the race, crews paddle from Molokai to Oahu.

“Team Bradley’s been around for many years. It’s basically revolved around a core group of women that originated on Maui but also here on Kauai,” Goo-Frazier said. “They went through a few different names. Right now, they settled on Team Bradley. It’s named on the major boat builder, Sonny Bradley, who makes the canoes that we race in.”

She added: “I’m not one of the original members. I wasn’t paddling back then, actually. I guess I gained some recognition for my placing in the one-man series. For a few years, I raced OC1s before I was able to join Team Bradley.”

Team Bradley has won nine of 11 races since 2005. Goo-Frazier was part of four of those nine victories (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013).

“For me personally, I feel blessed to be a part of the team,” she said. “You never know when you’re not going to able to participate again due to factors in and out of your control. Just every year, you have to give it your best and see what happens. And I think that’s the same philosophy we have during racing.

“One of the coolest things about Team Bradley, and I think I can say this about the paddling community in general, it’s like a bond. We have this sisterhood,” she continued. “I look forward to the racing season every year because my teammates don’t all live on the island. It’s a time for us to all hang out. Basically, the night before the race is like a sleepover. We’re grown now, and you don’t usually get that kind of opportunity often when you have families and responsibilities. So, it’s really nice.”

This year’s race is scheduled for Sept. 24. Goo-Frazier isn’t sure if she’ll be able to participate — she said the crew is yet to be finalized — but she’s hopeful she will compete.

Professionally, she helps others maintain their well-being as a family nurse practitioner.

She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in June of 2016 with her master’s degree, and a few months later started working at Kapaa Family Physicians.

“Advanced practice RNs, we’re trained beyond the registered nurse pool,” Goo-Frazier said. “There are, I guess, different categories of APRNs. It’s either, basically, a masters or a doctorate degree. … My track as an advanced nurse practitioner basically trains us to assess, diagnose and treat people in a clinical setting or in a specialty. Mine is a general practice.”

The career move is recent. She received her bachelor’s degree 2002 in East Asian Studies from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.

Before her work as a family nurse practitioner, she was a wedding planner and worked as a server at the Kauai Grill at St. Regis Princeville.

Goo-Frazier said when she and her husband made the choice to settle on Kauai, where she grew up in Kapaa, she wanted her work to benefit her community.

“As I started looking at what my options were going to be, going back to school or what, I decided that I was interested in the health field,” she said. “We have an amazing program here at (Kauai Community College). I could have gone that route. I actually knew deep down, since the KCC program was putting out amazing nurses, that getting a job was going to be really tough.

“So I thought, ‘Well, what can I do that’s going to give me an extra toe in the door?’ And it was to continue on and get my master’s degree, which I did through UH,” she continued.

Since starting at Kapaa Family Physicians in October, Goo-Frazier said it’s “worked out better than I’ve imagined.”

“(Dr. Paul Esaki) is very patient. He’s always willing to explain things to me if I have questions,” she said. “Obviously, it’s his business, right? I’m seeing both the medical side, treating patients and what’s involved in that, and running a business as a doctor which is a whole other deal.”

She added: “The fact I got hired months after graduation, I think, shows the need for primary health care here on the island. My master’s program, I did get a grant through the federal government to — it was a grant to serve a practice in a medically-underserved area, which we are. … That was helpful in more ways than one.”

Her active lifestyle and new career path, Goo-Frazier said, works hand-in-hand.

“I think it’s helping me, my identity as a person. Professionally and personally, it’s all coming together,” she said.

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