Meet the Team

Bariatric Surge​ry

fischerLaura Fischer, MD, MS
Assistant Professor
Medical Director, Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program

Dr. Fischer is a board-certified surgeon specializing 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).

Putthoff_Andrea (2)Andrea Putthoff, APRN-CNP

Andrea has over 11 years of nursing experience in Intensive Care, Perioperative, Post-Operative and Emergency Care. She is nationally certified with both the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

Andrea graduated from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing with distinction. She received an Academic Achievement Award, Outstanding Graduating Student Award, Outstanding Clinical Nursing Practice Award and Outstanding Student Leadership Award while at OUHSC.  In addition, she earned a Master of Science ​degree in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati.

Andrea’s professional interests include exploring the relationships between obesity and mental health and obesity and hormone disorders; and how obesity affects overall quality of life. 

Program Coordinator

Susan Wegrzynski, RNSusan Wegrzynski, RN

Susan came to OU Medicine from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.  As the Program Coordinator, Susan’s duties include managing quality improvement projects, assisting with research, providing education to patients and increasing community awareness of the benefits of bariatric surgery. 

Susan holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Central Oklahoma where she was awarded the Distinguished Graduate Nursing Student Award.  She possesses 10 years of experience in public health nursing.  Her additional experience includes Inpatient and Home-Based Adolescent and Adult Psychiatric Nursing.  Prior to her employment with OU Physicians, Susan completed a fellowship in the Oklahoma Public Health Leadership Institute.  Her group project to encourage the consumption of water and to reduce the use of sugary drinks in the Oklahoma population became the Shape Your Future: Rethink Your Drink statewide media campaign. 

Behavioral Health

Maria Trapp, PhDMaria Trapp, PhD

Dr. Trapp did her undergraduate work at California State University, Los Angeles, CA. After moving to Oklahoma in 1981, she completed her graduate degrees, both Master’s and Doctorate, at the University of Oklahoma.  During her last year of graduate school, she chose to do her internship with veterans ​at the Dallas VA Medical Center.  After returning to Oklahoma, she worked for the Citizen Potawatomie Nation in Shawnee as the Director of Children’s Services in their Mental Health Unit.  In 2000, she began her private practice in Edmond, OK.  She has continuously worked for women, children, families and those who are members of under-served groups of our community. 

Dr. Trapp is published in the areas of depression and patterns of change.  She has taught at both the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma.  Dr. Trapp was a featured contributor on News Channel 4 every Monday on the 4:30 p.m. news from 2003 to 2007.  She has served as president of the Oklahoma Psychological Association.  She is also currently the Chairperson of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.  Dr. Trapp has worked with a wide variety of concerns and issues regarding mental health, but has a particular interest in depression, anxiety, issues regarding life changes and relationship dynamics.

Physical Therapy

Denise Bender, JD, PT, M.Ed.Denise Bender, JD, PT, M.Ed.
Licensed Physical Therapist

Dr. Bender is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center (OUHSC) College of Allied Health and College of Medicine in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. She earned her Physical Therapy degree from St. Louis University, a Master in Education from Wayne State University, and a Law degree with Honors from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Denise is a member of professional special interest groups, including Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, Academy of Education, and Cardiovascular and Pulmonary section. Her experience practice includes military and community settings, as well as a previous faculty appointment at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In 2001, she joined the OUHSC Physical Therapy faculty and became Program Director for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in 2008. In 2012, she completed the APTA’s Educational Leadership Institute (ELI) fellowship program and became the Jill Pitman Jones Professor of Physical Therapy in 2016.  She is licensed as a physical therapist and an attorney in Oklahoma.


Iacobucci_Lauren (2)Lauren Iacobucci, M/S, RD/LD

Originally from Rhode Island, Lauren she is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Culinary Nutrition and is a trained chef. Continuing her education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Lauren will complete her Master of Science degree from Texas Women’s University in December of 2020.

Lauren originally came to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center to complete an internship, and ultimately decided to pursue her career in Oklahoma. She gained experience caring for patients immediately after they had bariatric surgery while working as a dietitian at OU Medical Center and Norman Regional Hospital. 

Lauren firmly believes healthy foods can be delicious, satisfying, and is excited to use her culinary training to teach others how to live a healthy lifestyle through food. She is experienced in modifying recipes to fit different dietary needs and is looking forward to seeing you in the clinic cooking classes. In her free time, Lauren enjoys walking her dog, Romeo, an American Eskimo. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, fitness and spending time with friends and family.