Our Medical Weight-Loss Program is built on the expertise of our board-certified doctors and program coordinator. They are supported in turn by a team of nutrition and weight-loss experts, both on staff and through close collaborations with health care professionals across the MultiCare organization.
Medical Director, Medical Weight Loss, Board-certified Bariatrician
Dr. Hooper is board-certified in both internal medicine and obesity medicine. He earned his medical degree from Western University of Health Sciences, and completed his residency in internal medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital & Medical Center in New Jersey.
He has been helping patients who struggle with obesity and related health issues for nearly a decade. He sees patients at the Center for Weight Loss & Wellness' main clinic in Tacoma, as well as at the Gig Harbor Medical Park.
Dr. Harkins is a board-certified obesity medicine specialist, as well as being a board-certified family practice doctor. She earned her medical degree from the University of Washington and completed her residency at Tacoma Family Medicine.
Dr. Harkins sees Center for Weight Loss & Wellness patients at the MultiCare Auburn Clinic.
Dr. Meka is board-certified in family medicine with a special interest in obesity medicine. He earned his medical degree from the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates in Philadelphia, PA, and completed his residency at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago, IL. Growing up in India, Dr. Meka saw the disparaity in health care that poor patients received and was inspired to enter the field to help all patients equally.
Dr. Meka provides a vast array of primary care and medical weight-loss services, including the management of diabetes, congestive heart failure and hypertension.
Ayumi Salva, DO, is board certified in internal medicine, with subspecialty in obesity medicine. She is also a registered dietician, offering years of nutrition experience to help patients make informed decisions. In addition to interests in obesity medicine and internal medicine, Dr. Salva has clinical interest in preventive medicine.
Care philosophy: “For me, the practice of medicine is based on relationships between me and my patients that are built on openness, honesty and trust. I provide information to empower people to make informed health care decisions. I believe that while balanced health is crucial to maintaining wellness, it differs for each person. My goal is to help people reach that balance to achieve and maintain wellness. A patient’s success is truly my success.”
Lucas has been working in behavioral health since 2012. He is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with varied experience providing individual and group therapy in settings that include community mental health, anger management, and domestic violence perpetrator treatment, and experience providing support as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault.
"I value offering clients a non-judgmental space to support their growth and wellness. I focus on partnering with individuals to cultivate a deeper understanding of their barriers and an awareness of the inner strength they possess and can utilize to overcome obstacles to their goals."
Techniques: cognitive behavioral, empowerment, strengths based, coping skills
Julianne has 17 years experience with providing therapy and counseling services. She is dually licensed as a Mental Health Therapist and Marriage and Family Therapist. She also has done specialized training in Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating.
"I respect and value each patients individuality and the unique experiences which have shaped and influenced who they are. I work by partnering with patients to create a safe space to explore emotional and cognitive patterns of behavior which lead to unhelpful coping strategies they hope to change."
Techniques: cognitive behavioral, mindfulness, stress reduction, positive coping skills
Jen is a Registered Dietitian who obtained her bachelor's degree in dietics from Southeast Missouri State University and completed her internship at Emory University Hospitals in Atlanta, Georgia. She has worked as a clinical dietitian in skilled nursing, post-accute care facilities and home health and has experience as a health and wellness trainer. Jen empowers patients to gain autonomy over their lives as it relates to health and wellness and provides guidance in finding joy in food.
Anne is a Registered Dietitian and Life Coach, who is passionate about promoting wellness and helping people have "A Ha!" moments in improving their health. Anne has experience in a variety of nutrition-related areas, including Nutrition & Wellness Coaching, Clinical Nutrition (Acute- and Long-Term Care), Community and School Nutrition, Food Service and public speaking. Anne earned her Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Fresno, in Dietetics and Food Administration and her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Troy State University. Anne currently sees patients at MultiCare’s Weight Loss and Wellness Center in both the Tacoma and Auburn clinics.
Dwayne Goins is a Registered Dietitian who earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and his Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science from Central Washington University. He then completed his dietetic internship through Central Washington University. Prior to working in the outpatient setting Dwayne worked at Tacoma General Hospital as an on-call clinical dietitian and gained experience with a variety of health conditions. Dwayne currently sees patients at MultiCare’s Center for Weight Loss & Wellness in Tacoma. He aims to empower patients to take control of their health by giving them a holistic approach toward attaining and maintaining weight loss while improving quality of life.
Alix Leestma is a Registered Dietitian who focuses on improving the relationship with food. Alix works with patients to stop the “diet” mindset and begin living a new lifestyle. She graduated from San Diego State University and completed her dietetic internship through Central Washington University. In addition to experience working with eating disorders, she also enjoys creating delicious, nutritious meals with a focus on food safety. She is committed to providing evidence-based nutrition education and helping patients recognize the “why” behind making dietary changes. She believes one small change can have a large impact.
Shirley is a Registered Dietitian with a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Commission on Dietetic Registration. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of British Columbia and a Master’s Degree in Public Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University where she completed coordinated dietetic internship rotating at Southwest General Hospital and WIC in Cleveland OH, Food and Friends in Washington DC, and in the USDAs Food and Nutrition Service at the Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, IL. She practiced as a dietitian for seven years in Washington, DC in progressive roles: substance abuse dietitian, assisting in maintaining the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, and running a food assistance program for a large non-profit specializing in early learning education. Shirley uses a functional nutrition approach in her passion to educate and help others live well and eat well.
Keerstin is a Registered Dietitian, working in the Puget Sound area since 2004, specializing in weight loss and wellness. She received her degree from Washington State University and has a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management. Her experience includes a variety of nutrition-related areas including working as an Outpatient Dietitian within medical clinics, working as a Renal Dietitian within Kidney Dialysis Centers, as well as working in a Women Infant Children (WIC) clinic. Keerstin is committed to providing patients with the tools they need in developing a healthy lifestyle. Keerstin currently sees patients at MultiCare’s Center for Weight Loss & Wellness in both Puyallup and Tacoma.
View our convenient Puget Sound locations to find a clinic near you.
Or, call us at 253-301-5280 or toll-free at 844-256-7659 to learn more about our Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Loss programs.