Adventist Health Castle | Windward Health | Winter 2020

LEITU KARNUTH GOT AN UNEXPECTED SURPRISE when he showed up for an appointment at Castle Primary Care of Kaneohe a couple of years ago. He hadn’t been feeling well, and the primary care physician he usually saw was on vacation, so he agreed to see one of the clinic’s other physicians. Imagine Leitu’s surprise when Ben Roney, MD, walked into the exam room and greeted him with, “Hi, Coach!” He immediately recognized Dr. Roney as one of the former basketball players he had coached at Iolani School, and a friendship was reignited. Leitu’s wife had been a patient of Peter Roney, MD, an ophthalmologist and Dr. Ben Roney’s father, so the two families knew each other well. As part of Leitu’s examination that day, Dr. Roney recommended a blood test. “I liked how thorough and clear he was in explaining my numbers,” Leitu recalls. “He also told me, ‘Coach, you could go at any time.’” Changes for the better This candid warning was a call to action. With Dr. Roney as his new health care partner, Leitu has made positive lifestyle changes, including a more plant-based diet, regular workouts at a fitness center and regular health checkups. “My numbers are all good now, and I have gone from 330 pounds to 280,” he reports. “My next goal, with Dr. Roney’s help, is to get off all my medications.” Leitu is a worship leader and Sunday school teacher at his church in Kahaluu and says that, as a Christian, he is always looking for God’s plan. “Ben was an answered prayer,” he says. “I’m really blessed to have him as a doctor.” Former coach appreciates lifestyle coaching Meet Ben Roney, MD Ben Roney, MD, joined Adventist Health Castle in 2016, returning home to Hawai‘i after practicing in Kentucky, where he had received his medical degree at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed his internship and family medicine residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The ability to establish relationships with his patients for years—and generations—makes family medicine an appealing specialty for Dr. Roney who, together with his wife, lives in a multi-generational home with their three children and Dr. Roney’s father, Peter Roney, MD. “My next goal, with Dr. Roney’s help, is to get off all my medications.” —Leitu Karnuth