AU Health employee is happier and healthier following bariatric surgery

Beau Gedrick had tried “every diet under the sun” but nothing worked.

Gedrick, an emergency medicine physician at Augusta University Health, had struggled with his weight for many years. As an AU Health employee, he heard of the great work Dr. Renee Hilton and her colleagues were doing with bariatric surgery. At the end of his rope, he said, Gedrick decided to get the procedure himself.

“There’s so much to it other than eating and exercising,” Hilton explained. “There are hormonal influences, insulin resistance, a lot of things that the surgery works to change immediately after going to the OR.”

After the procedure, Gedrick certainly has a new zest for life and finds himself more energetic than ever.

Gedrick paid out of pocket for the procedure. That’s because Georgia is one of six states that does not cover bariatric surgery for its employees, and Hilton is passionate about this cause. She wants lawmakers in Georgia to allow the procedure to be covered.

Hilton recently put her argument to the Georgia Legislature thusly: “If you look at the return on investment, as soon as two years after surgery, in addition to the medical cost we keep down, you have a happier and more productive member of the state workforce, who’s not going to call out as many days because we fix that problem for them in their 30s and 40s.”

Watch the video above for more of Gedrick’s story.

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Written by
Henry Hanks

Henry Hanks is Senior News & Communications Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-522-3023 or

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Written by Henry Hanks

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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