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The summer before her 40th birthday, Meleah Hoskins decided she needed to make a big change. At 393 pounds, she found it difficult to keep up with her husband and children. When Hoskins, a school principal from Stilwell, received a recommendation to go to Bailey Bariatrics from two colleagues at a summer school session in 2021, she started on a life-changing path. 

Hoskins was struggling to spend quality time with her family after long days at work. She said she had no energy to be a mother to her six children. 

“By the time I got home every day, I was exhausted. My husband... Read More »

Brandon Varnell MD

For 45-year-old Tera Mitchell, a kindergarten teacher at Westwood Elementary School in Stillwater, it had been a long time since she was comfortable in her own skin.

“In high school, I suffered from two emotional eating disorders: anorexia and bulimia,” Mitchell said. “During that time, I convinced myself that I was totally in control. My ‘dirty little secret’ was that I thought I knew exactly what I needed to do to keep the weight off, even if it was going to mess up my health. I was so mistaken.”

Mitchell tried all kinds of diets and pills to help her lose weight... Read More »

Since she joined the Bailey Bariatrics team in 2019, Chika Okwufulueze, APRN, FNP-BC, has been passionate about giving her patients the best care possible. After three years, she has received a new certification that will help both her patients and her community at Bailey Bariatrics.

Inspired by her grandmother, who was a traditional midwife, Okwufulueze studied to become a registered nurse in 2015 and board-certified family nurse practitioner 2018. She became interested in bariatrics because it is easy to see when she successfully helps a patient achieve a total transformation.... Read More »

Lisa Haldeman celebrated what she considered a milestone birthday in 2022, one the Broken Arrow resident previously thought she would not live to see with her family and friends.

Haldeman’s mother died at age 45 due to health complications and she feared she was headed down the same path.

“By the time I was 18, I was convinced I was going to die by age 45,” Haldeman said. “I smoked. I didn’t take care of myself and I didn’t work out. But I knew I didn’t want to end up dead. Seeing my mom pass away was a motivator that I needed to get my health into shape.” Struggling with... Read More »

Michael Junger’s health had forced him into an early retirement and was a primary cause in his need for a knee replacement.

Junger had a 40-plus year career as an electrician but being overweight had taken its toll on the Broken Arrow resident.

“I couldn’t kneel down anymore and getting up on a ladder was tough,” said Junger, who retired in 2018, four years after experiencing a heart attack.

Doctors would not perform the knee replacement until Junger lost some weight. 

“Once I realized Medicare would help pay for bariatrics, I started looking around at... Read More »

As a mother of two young children, Brittany Steinkirchner didn’t want anything holding her back.

“I wanted to be the best mom I could be to my children,” she said. “Part of that means being able to run with them at the park and kick the soccer ball.”

But Steinkirchner’s health had increasingly impacted her over the past 10 years. 

“I have battled with my weight,” she said. “It really started to make itself known.”

After the birth of her first daughter, Steinkirchner attempted to make dietary changes on multiple occasions but to no avail. Searching for a... Read More »

Susie Martin dealt with weight-related issues throughout her adult life after being diagnosed with high blood pressure by age 18. But one doctor visit in 2019 was a wake-up call.

“A doctor told me if I kept on the same path that my son would be without a caregiver,” said Martin, who has a special needs son. “I knew that couldn’t happen. I had to be there for him.”

Referred to The Center for Bariatrics at Bailey Medical Center by a couple of her coworkers who had weight-loss surgery, Martin attended her first seminar in 2020 and had weight-loss surgery in August the same... Read More »

Tyler Schmidt transformed his body through weight-loss surgery, but perhaps more importantly, the Bartlesville resident gained a renewed spirit for life.

“I used to eat every two or three hours, eat until I was miserable. I didn’t do anything with my daughter. I was always tired and grumpy and angry and disappointed,” Schmidt said in describing his demeanor prior to entering The Center for Bailey Bariatrics program at Bailey Medical Center.

Now Schmidt is, by his own admission, a completely different person.

“I’ve got so much energy now,” he said. “I’m motivated and... Read More »

As a mother of three teenage daughters, Shasta Carmack yearned for the time when she would be more active participant in their activities. 

The Sperry resident was diagnosed with reduced ejection fraction, also referred to as systolic heart failure, and had to be put on a beta blocker and blood pressure medications. Carmack’s condition contributed to her being limited when it came to physical activity.

“My kids are active in sports, and I couldn’t play catch with them or go to the zoo with them,” Carmack said. “I wanted to do that again.”

Carmack’s cardiologist... Read More »

When Brandon Lalli found out he was going to be a grandfather, he wanted to be prepared.

“I wanted to get on the floor and play with the grandbaby and not need help to get up,” Lalli said.

Dealing with back and knee issues, as well as a severe case of acid reflux, Lalli weighed 407 pounds at his heaviest. He learned about The Center for Bariatrics at Bailey Medical Center through a friend who had participated in the program.

Lalli had his first Bailey Bariatrics appointment in September 2019. He had gastric bypass surgery on May 20, 2020, and the results have been... Read More »