Meet Our Patient Care Staff
Get to Know Your Caring Guides in Austin, TX
At Austin Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, our team of compassionate professionals will help guide you through your journey. Our staff includes breast cancer survivors who are also former patients of Dr. Christine Fisher. They serve our patients as navigators and care coordinators, having been through breast cancer treatment and reconstruction themselves. Our staff also includes two skilled physician assistants with specialized knowledge in caring for patients who have undergone cosmetic and/or breast reconstruction surgery, as well as aesthetic skincare procedures such as BOTOX®, dermal fillers, and lasers for improving skin quality. As a women-run team we strive to provide high-quality, compassionate care to every patient.
Sandy Lanier, PA-C
Sandy has a master of science in physician assistant studies from Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, Illinois, and has worked in aesthetic medicine for more than nine years. She is certified through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is licensed through the Texas Medical Board. She joined our practice in 2017. Her focus is on giving patients a natural, rejuvenated appearance through comprehensive treatment plans to improve facial contours, reduce fine lines, and improve skin quality. She specializes in BOTOX®, fillers, resurfacing lasers, sclerotherapy, and medical-grade skincare. Follow her on the Austin Cosmetic MedSpa Facebook and Instagram accounts to see “before and after” photos, get educational information, and be among the first to learn about product and treatment specials and giveaways.
When not at the office, Sandy enjoys spending time with friends, exploring all Austin and the Texas Hill Country have to offer. She likes hiking trails, kayaking, and trying new restaurants.
Rebecca Risher, PA-C
Rebecca is a native Austinite. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, graduating in 2000 with high honors from the physician assistant program. She then completed her master of science in physician assistant studies in 2002. She first began working with Dr. Christine Fisher in 2014. Prior to plastics and reconstructive surgery, she worked in cardiovascular surgery, gaining extensive surgical training and patient care experience. Rebecca works alongside Dr. Fisher and Dr. Kurtovic, assisting in the operating room and providing post-operative care and education to their patients. She is an experienced practitioner specially trained in reconstructive and cosmetic surgeries, as well as non-invasive procedures, such as dermal fillers, BOTOX®, and skin resurfacing lasers. Rebecca is certified through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and is licensed through the Texas Medical Board.
Rebecca found a passion for taking care of breast cancer patients after her mother was diagnosed and underwent breast cancer treatment. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with her dog.
Lara Montfort, BSN, RN
Lara is the surgical nurse and operations manager of Austin Cosmetic Surgery Center, our in-office surgical suite. She studied arts and humanities at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis before pursuing nursing at Indiana State University. She has been a registered nurse since 2009 and absolutely loves what she does. Her nursing background includes caring for patients in cardiac, oncology, women’s health, and surgical settings. She has taken care of cosmetic plastic surgery patients since 2017, and joined our practice in 2018. Lara is known by our patients for her specialized surgical expertise, warm sensibility, and empathetic demeanor.
Lara and her husband have lived in Austin since 2011. They have three children (a boy and two girls), plus a fur baby — a Boxer from Austin Boxer Rescue. Lara says Austin is the perfect place for her and her family to call home: Lara is a half-marathon runner who enjoys the outdoors, her husband is a musician, and the family volunteers by fostering dogs through Austin Boxer Rescue.
Kathleen Miller, Medical Assistant
A California native, Kathleen completed her certification in surgical technology in 2008 and subsequently found her niche in plastic and reconstructive surgery as part of the clinical staff. She always knew she wanted to have a career in the medical field, as she feels her best when being helpful to others. She moved to Austin in 2014 and now over 10 years experience as a medical assistant and surgery scheduler for both cosmetic and breast reconstruction patients. She joined our practice in 2017 and is known among our patients for her sweet demeanor, specialized clinical knowledge, and passion for compassionate care.
Kathleen is a cat-mom who enjoys being outdoors and, more often than not, finds herself working on crafting projects on the weekends. Her ugly Christmas-sweater-making abilities have earned her the title of Crafting Queen among the office staff.
Africa Maldonado, Medical Assistant
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Africa has lived in Austin for 30 years. She started her career as a medical assistant for a family practice before moving to orthopedics and podiatry. For 13 years, she served as medical assistant, surgery scheduler, and limited X-ray technician for a busy orthopedics practice. She joined the Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery team in May 2019. Africa primarily works with our cosmetic plastic surgery patients and helps run the practice’s cosmetic surgery center. For Africa, plastics is very different from orthopedics — although patients are glad to be moving without casts or braces, many have impaired mobility going forward. She made the switch from orthopedics because she enjoys seeing the all-encompassing physical, mental and emotional transformations of our patients. It brings her joy to experience our patients’ excitement and renewed confidence, whether from them getting the body they always wanted, or from regaining the body they had before pregnancy.
Africa is the proud mother of two children: Lily (age 14) and Miley (age 11). In the evenings and on weekends, you’ll most likely find Africa supporting her kids at band practice, gymnastics, and various sports activities — she even spent five years coaching her children’s cheerleading team! The trio also enjoys amusement parks, concerts, and traveling. Africa is also a fluent Spanish speaker.
KATIE BERTLING, LE
Katie is a licensed aesthetician with 10 years of experience in medical aesthetics. She is certified in multiple skin rejuvenation techniques, including advanced chemical exfoliation, microneedling, and dermaplaning. She has also trained with renowned physicians, nurses, aestheticians, and physicists specializing in cosmetic light and laser-based therapies. Katie holds true to the belief that healthy skin is beautiful skin. Her focus is on educating patients on modern, scientifically proven therapies to achieve optimal skin health. She has a passion for continued learning and is currently pursuing her nursing degree to further her aesthetic practice. At Austin Cosmetic MedSpa, she specializes in facials, chemical peels, dermaplaning, laser hair removal, and medical-grade skincare. Follow her on the Austin Cosmetic MedSpa Facebook and Instagram accounts to see “before and after” photos, get educational information, and be among the first to learn about product and treatment specials and giveaways.
Katie relocated to Austin in 2010 from Kansas City after falling in love with the Texas Hill Country. When not at work or school, Katie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family, especially anywhere near water, as well as exploring new local restaurants and wineries.
Julie Culin, COSMETIC PATIENT CARE COORDINATOR
Julie is a breast cancer survivor and former patient of Dr. Christine Fisher's who joined the practice in 2016. Her personal experience through this process has set the stage for her to serve as a volunteer for the Breast Cancer Resource Center's AsSisters program, as well as be involved in several of BCRC's fundraising events. Julie has a B.S. in kinesiology from the University of Texas and an M.S. in allied health resources from Texas State University. Working with Dr. Fisher, Dr. Kurtovic, and the patients who come through the office has brought Julie full circle back to her roots and love of the healthcare world. She is the go-to person for our cosmetic surgery patients, coordinating their care from the initial consultation through the post-operative period, and can speak from personal experience with our breast reconstruction patients. She also serves as our community outreach coordinator, especially with regards to the practice's full range of aesthetic skincare services.
Outside of the office, Julie is busy with her husband and two active kids, as well as playing tennis in leagues around the city. Her favorite tagline is, "Choose to be amazing!"
Christine Fisher, M.D.
- Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
- Elected by her peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
- Reconstructed over 1,500 patients, including more than 500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
- 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for cosmetic surgery.
Claire Spera, Director of Communications & Reconstructive Patient Care Coordinator
A native of Santa Barbara, California, who moved to Austin in 2010, Claire is a breast cancer survivor and former patient of Dr. Christine Fisher's. She has personal experience with bilateral DIEP flap breast reconstruction and treatment for breast cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation. She joined the practice in 2016 after completing treatment. Claire is very active in the breast cancer community, particularly as a volunteer for Austin's Breast Cancer Resource Center, as a member of the New York-based breast cancer organization Young Survival Coalition, and as a trained Young Advocate with Philadelphia-based Living Beyond Breast Cancer. As our reconstructive patient navigator, Claire enjoys connecting the practice's breast cancer patients with free resources in the community, from financial and insurance assistance to support groups and help with everyday tasks. She is a staunch believer that no one should face breast cancer alone. In her role as communications director, Claire leads the practice's community outreach efforts and manages our website and social media presence. She has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Southern California.
When she's not at the office, Claire spends her time teaching and performing flamenco dance, which she has done for more than 23 years, and writing about the arts for publications including the Austin American-Statesman and Arts+Culture Texas. Claire is also a fluent Spanish speaker.
MONIQUE COLBERT, FRONT DESK COORDINATOR
Native Texan Monique is the friendly face who greets you at check in. She has worked in healthcare since 2005, and joined our practice in 2019. Monique got her start in the medical field as an Emergency Room admissions specialist where she cross trained in outpatient registration and as a switchboard operator for seven years. She then spent five years as the receptionist for a busy pain management practice. Monique prides herself on maintaining her smile, no matter what comes her way, and in making every patient who comes to our practice feel special.
Monique is a mother of four who loves spending time with her children and husband. She describes herself as a “total football and cheer mom” who is at every game, rain or shine. On the weekends, she enjoys baking and working on craft projects.
LAUREN BARTON, CLINIC COORDINATOR
Born and raised in Livonia, Michigan, Lauren has lived in Austin since 2018. After working in the aesthetics field for 10 years in hair salons and spas in Detroit, Michigan and San Diego, California, she moved to Houston and entered the medical aesthetics field, in which she’s now worked for five years. She joined our practice in June 2019 as our clinic coordinator. You’ll mostly find Lauren working at our check-in and check-out desks, helping to ensure a quality experience for our patients. She also assists with our community outreach and special event activities.
Lauren is married with two dogs. Outside the office, she enjoys traveling, mountain biking, and antiquing.
Katrina Whitehair, Practice Administrator
Katrina was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and lived in New York City for six years before relocating to her forever home in Austin. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master of business administration from Bellarmine University. Katrina's professional background spans corporate human resources, human service work, and six years in the field of healthcare. She has worked in ophthalmology and dentistry, and was a consultant for private healthcare practices before joining our practice in 2017.
Katrina enjoys spending time with her family, including her niece and nephew, as well as her friends, and exploring Austin and the surrounding communities' food, brewery, and outdoor adventure offerings.