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The doctor is in

Neighbors: Profiles of our community

Kihei physician Dr. Marcus Griffin will open the doors to the new Maui Wellness Medical Center on Monday. MARILYN GRIFFIN photo

When Dr. Marcus Griffin was growing up, his dad would routinely dispense pearls of fatherly wisdom. One in particular continues to resonate: “It’s better to change the oil than to replace the engine.”

It has been a guiding philosophy for the Kihei physician, who will open the doors to his new MDVIP-affiliated practice, Maui Wellness Medical Center, on Monday.

After more than two decades of practicing internal medicine at the Kihei-Wailea Medical Center, he’s now at the helm of the new clinic, where he will provide personalized preventive care and primary, acute and urgent care to enrolled patients. It’s a dream come true for Griffin, who has long been a proponent of proactive health care.

“Early detection and prevention are the mainstays of good health,” he said.

Over the years, Griffin has gone the extra mile to help his patients — and in some cases, nonpatients — stay healthy. Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, he coordinated free medical screening clinics for hundreds of uninsured residents at the Kihei-Wailea Medical Center. He also started an extracurricular “Walk with the Doc” program to promote physical activity. And like a quintessential small-town doctor, he makes house calls and gives his cell phone number to patients.

Griffin became an MDVIP-affiliated physician six years ago. MDVIP is a national network of primary care doctors who maintain significantly smaller practices so they can focus on delivering personalized care. Patients pay a yearly membership fee that includes preventive care services like a customized wellness plan and a comprehensive annual wellness program comprised of advanced screenings and tests to assess heart health, bone health, nutrition and emotional well-being, among other things.

Patients also get plenty of one-on-one time with Griffin. Depending on the circumstances, he says an appointment can last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The no-rush visits give him more time to listen, ask questions and ultimately gain a complete picture of a person’s overall health. Griffin says he’s laser-focused on two things: keeping healthy people healthy and helping patients prevent or manage conditions — like cardiovascular disease (the leading cause of death worldwide), diabetes and hypertension — so they can live their healthiest lives now and in the future.

Maui Wellness Medical Center is one of three MDVIP-affiliated practices on Maui and among a handful in the state. Griffin says MDVIP’s emphasis on wellness, early detection and prevention is a perfect fit for him. In addition, as an MDVIP-affiliated physician, he has access to resources across the country, including Cleveland HeartLab, a clinical laboratory that specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention, diagnosis and management.

Like his father, Griffin has an affinity for thought-provoking quotes. He had one framed and hung on a wall inside the new clinic. It reads: “Your greatest wealth is your health.”

And Griffin knows firsthand that no truer words have ever been spoken.

Maui Wellness Medical Center is located within the Maui Research and Technology Park in Kihei and is now accepting patients. In light of COVID-19, appointments must be made in advance (no walk-ins) and times will be staggered; telemedicine appointments are also available. The annual membership fee for MDVIP-affiliated practices varies depending on the location. To learn more or to schedule a meet-and-greet introductory appointment with Dr. Griffin, call 446-7111.

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