Meet the Team

Bariatric Surgeon 

fischerLaura Fischer, MD MS

Medical Director, Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program

Assistant Professor

Department of Surgery

Dr. Fischer is a board-certified surgeon at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. She specializes in advanced GI, minimally invasive, and bariatric surgery. In addition to weight loss surgery, she has clinical interest in benign and malignant conditions of the esophagus and stomach, as well as performing laparoscopic procedures of the spleen, adrenal gland, biliary tract, pancreas, small intestine, and abdominal wall hernias. She also specializes in robotic surgery.

Dr. Fischer’s areas of interest include treating high-risk bariatric patients and those who have had complications from prior bariatric surgery. She is active in multiple areas of research, but her main research interest is investigating the link between obesity and cancer. She also performs translational and clinical research in inflammation, gut hormones and the microbiome, laparoscopic and robotic education and simulation, as well as patient outcomes after weight loss surgery.                                           

Dr. Fischer completed a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Portland OR. She completed a general surgery residency and internship at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison WI. She earned her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City NY.  She is member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

Nurse Practitioner

vorheisJudy Vorheis, APRN-CNP

Judy is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner with a passion for the field of bariatrics. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing with a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing. She has worked in many arenas such as: Mental Health, Intensive Care, Post-Coronary Care, Emergency, Medical-Surgical Units, hospital education, and home health. Judy also holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree with an emphasis in education from the University Of Oklahoma College Of Nursing and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner from Midwestern State University. Additionally, she holds an American Academy of Nurse Practitioner national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Judy is involved in the pre-operative work-up and long term follow-up care of patients. She is motivated to be the patient’s advocate in the process of surgical weight loss. She works closely with the surgeon, dieticians, psychologist, physical therapist, nursing staff, medical assistant, program coordinator and other administrative staff to provide patients with the most advantageous outcomes.

Judy enjoys working with patient to give them the support they need to create long term success towards a healthier lifestyle. “I love to hear stories of how patients are able to do things they haven’t done in years.” Her interests include traveling, back-country hiking, swimming, and spending time with her family and two dogs.

Program Coordinator

garretsonAmber Garretson, RN BSN

After graduating with from nursing school, Amber began her nursing career in 2011 as a staff nurse in a busy Level I Trauma Center ER in Texas.  Amber transitioned from Emergency Medicine into the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). She spent the next three years working in the Emergency Department and Intensive Care, honing her critical thinking and clinical skills. Amber transitioned into Healthcare Management when she became the Branch Director at a Home Health Company in Texas. She, then, furthered her management skills and knowledge when she accepted a position as the House Supervisor at the VA Medical Center in Temple, Texas. Amber now resides in Oklahoma City and is enrolled in the Clinical Nurse Specialist program at the University of Oklahoma. She lives with her husband, her 11-year-old pit bull, goats, cows and chickens and enjoys spending her free time drag-racing, travelling, cooking, gardening, and reading.

Amber is involved with following patients from their entrance into the program to their very last follow-up appointment.  She enjoys seeing their progress and end result.

Bariatric Dietitians

brownDianne Brown, MS RDN, LD, CDE

Dianne Brown is a Registered Dietitian for the OU Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program. She earned a Master of Science degree in Dietetic and Nutrition from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. She is a certified diabetes educator. Her areas of expertise include hyperlipidemia, hypertension, weight management, and types 1, 2, and gestational diabetes. She has co-authored several books and has presented educational sessions to both the public and medical professionals. Ms. Brown is past-president of Oklahoma Dietetic Association and Western Oklahoma Diabetes Educators and is a member of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) and Diabetes Care and Education Practice Group. For fun, Ms. Brown likes to travel, watch independent movies, read, take long walks and visit family and friends. 

olsonChristine Olson, MS RD/LD

Christy Olson is a Registered Dietitian for the OU Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program. She graduated in 2001 with a Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Management from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is certified in both adult and pediatric weight management. Ms. Olson first worked as a registered dietitian and diabetes educator for Indian Health Services for 8 years, providing diabetes education and developing and leading both adult and childhood obesity programs.  Thereafter, she worked as a bariatric dietitian in Norman, Oklahoma for 3 years before joining the team as a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in February 2011.  Christy enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  Her hobbies include working in her flower beds and walking outdoors for exercise.

Behavioral Health

linckJohn F. Linck, Jr., PhD, ABPP-CN

Assistant Professor

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Linck joined the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Oklahoma as a volunteer faculty in September 2008 and was appointed to regular faculty in July 2014. He is a licensed health service psychologist and is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP-CN).

Prior to joining OU in July 2014, Dr. Linck was employed at the Oklahoma City VAMC after completing his two year fellowship in clinical neuropsychology in 2008. During his time at the VA in Oklahoma City, he completed board certification through ABPP in Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Linck was an active participant in the OUHSC Clinical Internship Program and Clinical Neuropsychology Fellowship program during that time. He served as the Director of Neuropsychology Training for the Oklahoma City VAMC as part of his duties within the clinical training program. Dr. Linck also worked as an adjunct professor for the University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus, teaching a course in Intellectual Assessment to doctoral and masters level students.

Dr. Linck has participated in the publication of several journal articles and a book chapter that primarily relate to concussion and psychological assessment in the Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) population. As of July 2014, Dr. Linck provides clinical services to patients referred for neuropsychological testing. He participates in the teaching of medical residents and serves as the Director of the Postdoctoral Forum, coordinating a didactic program for the fellows in psychology.

Dr. Linck is a member of the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) and National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN). 

Physical Therapy

johnsonLaura Johnson, PT

Licensed Physical Therapist

Laura Rauh Johnson, PT, MPT graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Physical Therapy program in 2009. She joined clinical faculty in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences in 2010 where her roles include teaching, research, and clinical services. She is currently the director of the outpatient neurorehabilitation clinic in the College of Allied Health where she works with adults and children. She is very interested in health promotion, fitness, and wellness in the populations she serves.

Renee Thomas, PT

Licensed Physical Therapist 

Office Staff

gatewoodQuanisha Gatewood, CMA

Medical Assistant

I started my journey at Wright Career College in March of 2013 and it was at that time I decided to pursue a career in the medical field. I graduated from the Certified Medical Assisting program on May 2, 2014.  Soon after I was fortunate to find an opening in the General Surgery Clinic at the OU Physicians, a clinic I have wanted to work for because of the outstanding patient care and the doctor’s surgical expertise. Outside of my job I enjoy spending time with my fiancée and our children. I look forward to furthering my career with Dr. Laura Fischer in the new Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Clinic and experiencing its growth.

Jessica Moates

Clinic Manager, General Surgery

Jessica has worked with the OU Physicians group since September 2009. She enjoys being able to assist patients with improving their quality of life while managing a clinic team. Jessica has worked in the medical field since 2003. Her career started as a Nursing Assistant and has developed into a management role. When not at work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her children and spouse. She appreciates scrapbooking and trying to capture precious moments with her two daughters.