Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine


Dr. Sutherland's private practice is now open and offers a supervised medical weight management intervention and Concierge Primary Care/ Internal Medicine.  If you are a prior patient and would like to resume care, please submit an inquiry form and a demographic form as our billing company has changed. If it has been 3 years or more since you last saw Dr. Sutherland, you are considered a new patient for insurance purposes and should complete the enrollment application as well.   Please indicate if you are interested in Primary Care only, Medical Weight Management only, or both.  Due to limitations in patient panel size, primary care will be considered only for patients also on a weight management program with whom a physician/patient relationship already exists. She will be offering in person as well as Tele-health visits. 

Covid 19 Information: Total occupancy is limited and waiting is kept to a minimum or eliminated.  We ask that patients only enter the office (or representatives for pick up) and by appointment only. We strive to take each patient directly to an exam room at the time of their appointment but sometimes, delays occur due to the nature of medical care. You are welcome to wait in your car, if you prefer, for your appointment if this happens and you will receive a call you when it is your turn to come back. Dr. Sutherland abides by the exemption to the requirement for wearing masks for anyone who has a medical condition, including obesity-hypoventilation syndrome, mental health condition, developmental or cognitive condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering, including, but not limited to, persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing, and that a business should not ask for proof or details, according to the WA state DOH.  Access to medical care will not be denied due to the inability to wear a mask for a medical exemption.  If you have questions or concerns, please communicate prior to your appointment and your appointment may be scheduled accordingly.  New patient visits and physical exam appointments need to be in person. Others may be virtual if medically appropriate. 


Expeditions, Summit, Peak Programs

We evaluate and treat the health of each individual to determine potential causes of excess weight and associated conditions including pre-diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and high cholesterol. We work with the individual to formulate a program to prevent, improve, or reverse these conditions. Each program includes a comprehensive approach that is tailored to the individual.  Programs have been offered since 2015 and were created and developed by Valerie Sutherland, MD.

Expeditions Program: For women with 30 pounds or more to lose, or men with 40 or more pounds to lose, we offer a medical intervention known as a very low calorie diet. After a medical screening process, participants replace all of their nutrition with prescription medical food consisting of shakes, puddings, soups, bars and snacks. Typical weight loss is 3-7 pounds per week, or 15 pounds per month for women and 20 pounds per month for men, although individual factors can cause results to vary. This is a powerful tool for addressing pre-diabetes or diabetes, even if followed for a short time, such as 4 weeks. This plan can be done with either liquid food options, or a variety of foods including pastas, egg scrambles, soups, and bars. For more information, read the Full Plan Guide

Summit Program: For people who either do not qualify for the expeditions program or choose a more gradual approach, we offer the Summit Program. This does not require medical supervision, blood work, or EKG. It does require that you check with your primary care provider or Dr. Sutherland first. If you qualify for the Expeditions Program but are uncertain about it, rest assured, you can always transition to this program at any time. For more information, read the Partial Plan Guide

Peak Program: This is our program for anyone that has an individual health, fitness, or well-being goal. It may be an amateur athletic contest or another personal health challenge that you are determined to overcome or, just to help keep you at your best. This is for those at the sharp end of the sword or those working on something other than weight.  We do not offer pharmacotherapy with this program except for people who have progressed through the other phases. 



Flexibility, Accountability, & Support

Sustainability and accessibility are crucial for long term health. That is why we offer a full spectrum of Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring using blue tooth technology, and interactive app.

New patients who do not have an established physician/patient relationship with Dr. Sutherland should have an in person examination for the initial visit or soon thereafter. 

Our programs have been updated in 2021 to include the following:

  •  Telehealth

  • Remote patient monitoring via bluetooth technology

  •  Improved App offering enhanced self monitoring, accountability, nutrition programs and recipes

  • Improved online medical food and supplement ordering with home shipping.



We will bill our services to contracted health insurance companies as a courtesy.  If you are a returning patient, we thank you for your patience and resubmitting the insurance demographic forms as we have a new billing company. We welcome inquiries from new patients. We recommend you read the blogs and resources page to familiarize yourself with the program and practice prior to your appointment in order to be able to focus on how to individualize things for you. Please keep in mind that our program will not be the right fit for everyone and the physician/patient relationship is voluntary on both sides.  Please go to our new patient page for forms to complete prior to your appointment.  You will get the most from your visit if you return these prior to your appointment by 24 hours. They may be faxed or emailed directly to the practice manager or brought to your appointment. The practice email is HIPAA compliant, but yours may not be. 



Address the Underlying Cause.

Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance and higher than normal levels of insulin. With typical treatment, it is a chronic, progressive disease. Bariatric surgery is one option for drastically changing the course of the disease, and a very low calorie diet is another.



Losing weight is just the start.

After weight loss, there are a variety of physiologic processes that predispose a person to return to their starting body weight. Called "metabolic adaptation", these factors slow the resting metabolic rate and can increase hunger and cravings. Even after bariatric surgery, weight regain is common without ongoing follow up and, in some cases, treatment and a program. After the active weight loss phase, all patients are in our maintenance program, designed to maintain their weight within ten percent of their goal weight. That's why all our patients are automatically enrolled in our maintenance program free of charge upon reaching their goal weight range.



5713 Wollochet Drive, Ste 101

Gig Harbor, WA 98332

p: (253) 319-3339

f: (706) 416-4727

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