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 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).

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.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her 

Program Coordinator

Susan Wegrzynski, RNSusan Wegrzynski, RN

Susan came to the OU Physicians Bariatric Surgery Clinic 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 ten 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. 

Born and raised in Illinois, Susan enjoys reading, traveling, bike riding, and cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

Behavioral Health

Maria Trapp, PhDMaria Trapp, PhD

Psychologist

Dr. Trapp did her undergraduate work at California State University at Los Angeles.  After moving to Oklahoma in 1981, she completed her graduate degrees, both her Master’s and Doctorate, at the University of Oklahoma.  During her last year of graduate school, she chose to do her internship with veterans and selected 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 in 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 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 University of Maryland Baltimore.  In 2001, she joined 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.

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.

Office Staff

MoatesJessica-Bariatrics01

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 captureprecious moments with her two daughters.

Quanisha

Quanisha Gatewood, CMA

Senior Medical Assistant

Nisha, as she is known by patients and co-workers, earned an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Rose State College.  However, she started her professional journey at Wright Career College in March of 2013, where she decided to enter the medical field.  She graduated from the Certified Medical Assisting program on May 2, 2014.  Soon after, she filled an opening in the General Surgery Clinic at OU Physicians, a position she actively pursued because of the documented outstanding patient care and the doctors’ surgical expertise. Outside of work, Nisha enjoys spending time with her two children.

 Ashley GrahamAshley Graham, PSR III

Insurance Specialist, Financial Services

Ashley joined the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Clinic in October of 2017.  Previously, she was with the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute for 11 years, where she took care of billing and posting insurance payments. These duties were great stepping stones for her duties here: verifying insurance benefits, surgery pre-authorizations, financial arrangements for self-paying patients and requesting medical records for patients who have that requirement for insurance coverage.  Ashley has a quick wit and a funky sense of humor, which all of her co-workers have thoroughly embraced. During her personal time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her godson, Bailey, and traveling to wherever a great rock concert can be found.

Cindy TrentCynthia “Cindy” Trent, M.Ed., PSR II

Support Group Leader/Community Outreach

Cindy began working in the Bariatric Clinic after her husband went through the bariatric surgery program and was Dr. Fischer’s first gastric bypass surgery patient here at OU.  The staff was so kind and caring throughout the process that Cindy decided she would come out of retirement for the opportunity to work in this exciting, growing program.  Although she thoroughly enjoyed her career working with the elderly, she is most excited about this stage of her life.  As a gastric bypass patient herself and primary caregiver for her husband, she knows the importance of having a great support system to ensure the long-term success of the surgery, so she is committed to patient advocacy as the leader for the Bariatric Surgery Support Groups.  Cindy also has several years of experience in customer/patient service, so she can definitely relate to the patients and appreciates that this position is a natural fit for her.  Outside of work, Cindy enjoys travel, adventures with her sweetheart, reading, crocheting and spending time with her amazing adult children and her awesome grandchildren.

Christian SummerChristian Sommer, PSR I

Patient Service Representative/Scheduler

Christian was born and raised in Oklahoma.  He medically retired from the Air Force in August of 2014, but realized he still wanted to be able to serve. With service to others in mind, he became a licensed real estate agent.  Happy in the knowledge he could still make a difference in people’s lives, he joined Keller Williams In October of 2013.  Christian says, “Helping family, friends and anyone needing to find their dream home has made my real estate career very gratifying, but I wanted to do more.”  So, in January of 2018 he decided to take on a new challenge working at OU Physicians as a Patient Service Representative in the Bariatric Surgery Clinic. He has three amazing kids.