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Dorothy Checotah is blooming after bariatric surgery

For someone who loves to garden and travel, walking a short distance used to be difficult for Dorothy Checotah.

Whenever the 69-year-old retired social worker/counselor left her Tulsa home, she had already thought out where to park, whether there would be stairs to climb and how many steps it would take to reach her destination. She developed these habits years ago when she had a series of surgeries.

“I had back surgery that involved fusing my spine,” she recounted, “and later had both knees replaced. It was hard for me to get around without the use of a cane. On top of... Read More »

After years of researching options and planning for bariatric surgery, Melissa Purdy, 49, is finally experiencing life without limits. In 2020, she attended a seminar at Bailey Bariatrics, where she learned her employer's provided health insurance didn't cover the cost.

"At that point, it kind of got put on hold and I was exploring how I was going to pay for it," said Purdy. "One of the reasons I switched jobs was so that I could get different insurance."

Feeling like she'd missed out on part of her children's lives and facing the possibility of a second knee replacement,... Read More »

Stacie Burns could never find the motivation to take control of her health and her weight. But after a series of events enticed her to sign up for a class at Bailey Bariatrics, she followed through and eventually had bariatric surgery. 

Along the way, she was so impressed by the care she received that she applied for a job and was hired by the same health care providers who helped her lose weight. 

... Read More »

After spending time in Bailey Medical Center’s metabolic management program (MMP), Jerred Richison decided he could use more of what Bailey Bariatrics has to offer. The 31-year-old Bristow native found some success with the program, but quickly realized he needed to make a more dramatic change for his health. 

The goal of Bailey’s metabolic management program is to create a healthy life for overweight and obese patients with a body mass... Read More »

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 »