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Healthwatch 16: Sunbury police chief thriving after bariatric surgery

Obesity is a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases, and one way to treat it is with bariatric surgery.

SUNBURY, Pa. — Brad Hare has been in law enforcement for 22 years and has served as Sunbury police chief since 2019. He loves what he does but felt his weight was holding him back.

"I've always been a bigger guy, and it just got to the point where I wasn't feeling comfortable with my weight. Healthwise, I was on the verge of diabetes," Chief Hare said.

In early 2019, Brad weighed 344 pounds. He tried many diets over the years but says nothing worked. His doctor suggested gastric bypass surgery, so Brad started Geisinger's bariatric program in February of 2019.

"The first thing they want you to do is lose weight on your own to show that you are dedicated in trying to lose weight," he said. "They had a goal for me. They said, 'We want you to lose x amount of pounds. Once you hit that, we'll go to the next step.'"

"We really want to take that focus away from this is a weight loss, cosmetic procedure to this is a life-changing and lifesaving procedure," said Dr. Anthony Petrick, director of bariatric surgery at Geisinger.

Bariatric surgery involves making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight.

"It works two ways. Folks eat less. They're fuller quicker, and also they don't absorb as much of the calories as they eat," Dr. Petrick explained.

To qualify, one must have a body mass index of over 40 or over 35 and one disease associated with being overweight.

Brad's surgery was in October of 2019 at Geisinger. He says the surgery changed his life. He has an easier time buying clothing, and he believes it's made him a better grandparent and police chief.

"Feel better, healthier, where I would get tired walking up the steps, doing this, doing that. Much better at work. I think it's made me a better police officer when it comes to my temperament."

Now Brad is an advocate for anyone looking to have bariatric surgery.

Our bariatric team celebrated 20 years of helping people achieve happier, healthier lives with baseball ⚾and Brad — a...

Posted by Geisinger on Monday, June 6, 2022

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