Southcoast Center for Weight Loss celebrates 15 years of success with a patient reunion

The Southcoast Center for Weight Loss celebrated its 15th anniversary Saturday, June 1, with a reunion attended by more than 250 bariatric patients.

Since the program started in 2004, more than 7,500 bariatric procedures have been performed and over 600,000 pounds have been lost. The event promoted healthy living, while recognizing the courage and determination required to overcome the disease of obesity.

“Great bariatric surgery requires great patient dedication,” said Dr. Rayford Kruger, physician-in- chief of surgery for Southcoast Health and the program’s founder. “Your courage and drive for a healthier life have made your surgery a success. We celebrate you today.”

The festivities were held at the Southcoast Center for Weigh Loss, where bariatric patients offered their weight loss stories to those in attendance. Dan O’Brien, of Scituate, who appears in TV commercials and print ads for the program, was a featured speaker. He lost 160 pounds after surgery and is currently engaged to be married.

“People ask me ‘why don’t you get paid to be such an advocate for the program?’ And I tell them I don’t need payment. My life is payment enough.” he said. “If my story can help save one person’s life then it will have served its purpose.”

Dan O’Brien shows the pair of jeans he wore before seeking treatment at Southcoast Center for Weight Loss.

Jo-Ann Silva, of Acushnet, said she decided on surgery four and half years ago after she was unable to complete a hike with her daughters in the mountains of Utah’s Moab desert. She was half-way along the trail when she turned around accompanied by one of her daughters. Her other daughter went on to complete the hike.  “It broke my heart that I prevented [my daughter] from having a once in a life time experience,” she said with tears in her eyes. “Not only did I change my mind to make life better for myself, but I wanted to be a role model for my girls.”

Silva lost 150 pounds and as a result overcame diabetes, orthopedic issues, and high blood pressure. She was also able to complete her hike with her daughters a year after her surgery. She continues to find inspiration from fellow patients in the program’s support groups, and she provides inspiration herself. “I’ve had multiple people come up to me and ask me about my journey and I am glad to be that inspiration,” she said.

Jo- Ann Silva with her two daughters Kasandra Qualitz (left) and Jocelin Westgate (right) after sharing her inspirational weight loss story at Southcoast Center for Weight Loss’s bariatric patient reunion held on June 1 in Wareham.

Southcoast Center for Weight Loss is a comprehensive program that includes surgical and a non- surgical courses of weight loss treatment, complete with nutritional and emotional health counseling. For more information or to sign up for a free informational seminar please visit