KALAHEO — “We just put up the new sign Monday,” said Dr. Scott Shimabukuro, a dentist practicing in Kalaheo. “I was afraid they wouldn’t like things on Kaua‘i, but I guess the sign makes it official.”
Shimabukuro celebrated the return of his son, Dr. Shea Shimabukuro, and daughter Skye Shimabukuro, to the dental practice that operates from an office located across the highway from the Holy Cross Church, where a food distribution was taking place Tuesday afternoon.
“I was lucky,” said Dr. Shea Shimabukuro, a graduate from Kaua‘i High School. “I received my doctor of dental surgery degree from Creighton University in 2019, and I had a place to come back to. It’s been about a year since I got my degree, and I am lucky to come home where I could work and have someone to talk story and learn from — to help me as I start my own path in dentistry.”
Shari Shimabukuro, the new doctor’s mother, is in charge of the dental office, and said she feels blessed that she and Dr. Scott Shimabukuro would not have to work as hard, especially during emergency situations.
“It’s good to have the help,” she said. “We can let the young people take some of the stress off the emergency and we can breathe easier. This is their operation, and they can do what they choose to make it work.”
Dr. Scott Shimabukuro said customers are always coming in and asking for the “young one,” joking about his years in the dental practice, before getting their work done.
Skye Shimabukuro, a graduate from Kaua‘i High School where she was a Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation girls soccer standout, continued her education at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, where she qualified and became a member of the UH wahine soccer program while pursuing her degree in dental hygiene.
She joins the Kalaheo dental practice as the dental hygienist.
“I graduated in 2019, and had a job on O‘ahu before moving back here about two months ago, right about the time COVID-19,” Skye Shimabukuro said. “Yes, I had to go through the 14-day quarantine, too. They check on you every day. You can’t not do it.”
Shari Shimabukuro said that, prior to her daughter moving home, she would come back and help in the office every week for at least one day. She now works the office full time.
“I’m so lucky to be here,” Skye Shimabukuro said. “Dr. Shea is young, and he can always use more appointments. I think at some point I might think about coaching girls soccer. I love coaching the young kids. It’s about time to think about giving back.”
Dr. Scott Shimabukuro thinks about the future and being able to get involved with chores outside the dental office.
“This is terrific,” he said. “It’s great having everybody back, as a family.”
The Shimabukuro dental office is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 332-7088.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.