Meet Dr. Stehouwer

In honor of National Doctors’ Day we’re celebrating Dr. Stehouwer! Why did you become a doctor?

In honor of National Doctors’ Day we’re celebrating Dr. Stehouwer!

Why did you become a doctor?
Until I was the age of 7, my parents were both medical missionaries in Nigeria. Then we moved to a small town back in the US. I grew up observing my parents caring for patients, not only at their medical facility but also doing house calls (sometimes on a snowmobile if the roads were impassable) and even seeing people in our home if the office was closed. After graduating from college and teaching/ administrating for 6 years (both challenging and rewarding), I finally paid attention to the quiet voice in me that told me I needed to go back to school and become a doctor.
Family practice was my chosen area of specialty because I wanted to have long-term relationships with my patients. One of the frustrations I had as a family practice doc was not having the tools to help people with chronic diseases actually get better! I could usually help them control their symptoms, often by adding more and more medication. Then I attended a conference by the Obesity Medical Association and came away so fired up I decided I wanted to specialize in medical bariatrics. After passing the boards and starting my practice in Poulsbo, I am thrilled to be able to help people regain their health. I get to go to work every day and decrease people’s medication, to tell them they no longer have high blood pressure or diabetes or sleep apnea. I have the privilege of patients telling me they no longer have heartburn or chronic aches and pains. I get phone calls stating a patient won’t be coming back for a while because after 10 years of trying they are finally pregnant after losing weight.

What’s the biggest misconception that patients have about what you do?
At KMWL I treat excess weight as a chronic disease. Losing weight and maintaining weight loss is a lifetime struggle that requires constant vigilance, the same as any other chronic disease. It is a multi-faceted, complex disease that has bio-psycho-social-spiritual facets. Each of these areas must be healthy in order to successfully control the disease of excess weight. There is no magic pill that will fix a lifetime of hurts and bad behaviors and make us want to exercise every day!

Is there a patient behavior that you wish you could change?
My greatest desire is for my patients to learn to love themselves. I want my patients to hear and believe the message that they are enough just as they are. They are worthy of esteem and love at any weight. Because this is a lifelong process, I want them to learn to give themselves grace when they have relapses.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to travel, hike, and cook (low carb of course!). Also, I am a runner and like the challenge of training for races. The best part of the weekend long runs is being able to spend time with my dear running buddy.

*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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We’ve all been on diets and all failed. Well, this time Skip and I desperately needed help to overcome my limited mobility due to back surgery that didn’t go as expected. Kitsap Medical Weight Loss ISN'T a diet. It’s a life style change that has been the most positive thing to happen to us in years, and years. We learned what our worst enemy is when eating… CARBOHYDRATES. After 5 months we’ve both lost over 35 pounds and have learned we eat to live, not live to eat. Dr. Ellen and her staff have been incredible. The first month was very difficult but we learned what we could and couldn’t eat and received lots of positive support suggestions and recipes to try. And we don’t even miss potatoes, pasta or French fries any more. For the first time for as long as I can remember I can see my toes. Some visceral fat disappears in the first two weeks. It gives you more incentive to keep going. I am more mobile and stand up straighter and walk better. GIVE IT A TRY. You won’t be disappointed.*


*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.


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(360) 626-1166