About Our Bellevue and Seattle, Washington Plastic Surgery Center
Our staff consists of truly dedicated professionals who have been with Overlake Plastic Surgeons for many years. They talk with patients from their own personal experience and have taken "hand-holding" to a new level of caring.
We all look forward to meeting you and helping you understand the possibilities of both plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures.
Barbette Fremmerlid, R.N.
Barbette is a Registered Nurse on our team and has been with the practice for 10 years. Originally trained as a trauma nurse, she practiced for 17 years in that capacity before coming to work with Dr. Leff. She acquired her education and training at the University of Washington and at Harborview, obtaining excellent skills in that innovative teaching hospital environment, and receiving her nursing degree in 1986.
Barbette is an experienced laser specialist, as well as a certified teacher and trainer in the art of Botox treatments for Allergan, the originator of Botox. She sees patients during the initial consultation, helping them to decide which procedure(s) will best meet their needs. She administers chemical peels, does Botox and other filler treatments, and performs hair removal, IPL, and Yag laser procedures for our patients. Barbette finds patient education rewarding and exciting: "Most of the time, our patients have a good idea of what they want and the outcome they want to achieve. As we explore their options, they learn what's possible and they get excited. We're lucky to live in a world where we can take advantage of a range of innovative treatments and procedures that enable us to attain the appearance goals we want to reach and to age gracefully."
Barbette says that building relationships with patients over time is the favorite part of her work, pointing out that any fears a patient may have initially disappear once they understand the process. "They're pleased because they've made the choice to have treatments and procedures that make a truly positive difference in the way they look. We are conscientious about patient comfort, so we use Lidocaine blocks, as well as topical solutions that keep our patients at ease when they're having fillers done, for instance. In essence, it's a day of beauty when they come in to see us, and we share a lot with them. I have great patients!"
Jean Lambert, Patient Care Coordinator
Jean Lambert has been with our practice for 15 years, where she began as the front office coordinator and then assumed her current position of Patient Care Coordinator. She participates in initial consultations with patients, handles payment planning and scheduling and responds to online inquiries for the practice website. Jean's work also involves overseeing the human resources aspect of the practice.
Prior to working for Dr. Leff, she spent 16 years with an ophthalmological surgical practice that eventually became Eye Associates Northwest – a multi-location, multi-doctor practice with offices in Kirkland and Seattle. Her work there encompassed patient registration, marketing, and patient education. Throughout her career, interacting with patients has been the most rewarding aspect of her work.
"I like helping them plan for their procedures and helping them work out the logistics so that their experience with us is positive and satisfying." She notes that each individual patient has specific goals and needs, but all expect to be given the best information and the capability of making the best choices.
"All of our patients want the best care at the correct price and we pride ourselves on giving them truth and clear information: what a given procedure entails, what to expect during the recovery period, what the anticipated outcome will be. It takes everyone on our team together to get the job done well, and we work very well together. We've been together for over 10 years now and we work for a doctor who puts safety first and is committed to ensuring that each patient has realistic expectations and receives ongoing input and communication. Dr. Leff always has a patient's best interests at heart, and we take pride in knowing we are giving each of them personalized care and the right information."
Karen Belvel, Front Office
When she is not doing bookkeeping, Karen Belvel can be found at the front desk in our practice, booking appointments, helping with scheduling, answering phones, and greeting patients and visitors. She has been here for 13 years and continues to thoroughly enjoy working with her colleagues and serving the patients. Raised in California, Karen began her career as a Medical Assistant, working in a surgeon's office for a time before relocating to Seattle.
Karen worked in a general surgery practice with a group of doctors until the opportunity arose to work with Dr. Leff. "I enjoy the front office and like the people contact I have – especially getting to know the patients and seeing their results. They're excited and they get to know us over time, which is really gratifying." Karen notes that most new patients have chosen the practice after doing their research and many are referred to Dr. Leff by friends or family members.
"They're well informed, hopeful, and excited about the changes to come. Most of our patients have waited for some time, and now they're ready to do something, so it's a very positive thing for them to come in. When they meet with Dr. Leff in consultation, they find out what his staff knows - that he's a perfect gentleman: thorough, excellent, soft-spoken, particular, and very exacting. All of us on staff want each one of our patients to get the care and service they need."
Karen notes that the staff has been there for years and works well together. "We have different areas of expertise, but we each do what we can to help one another and to make sure our patients are satisfied. We all enjoy people. It's personal and it's a pleasure to see happy patients get the results they wanted. It means a lot to all of us."
Kelly Woods, C.M.A.
Kelly is a Certified Medical Assistant on our staff and has worked with Dr. Leff since 1997. She assists patients both pre- and post-op, circulates in the O.R. and assists with consultations, follow-up care and phone calls to patients. Kelly has attended ASPS annual plastic surgeons meetings annual meetings over the years to keep current on all new information and practices. She is a member of the AAMA and is active in her church and community.
A native of Texas, she completed an associate's degree in business at the University of Texas in Dallas before coming to Washington in 1989. While earning her Medical Assistant credentials, she worked part-time for Dr. Leff and has now been with our practice for 13 years. "We're really like a family here," she says, "and I have such an interesting job."
Kelly believes that well-informed patients who know what to expect invariably do very well. "Our patients are educated and savvy; they've done their research and become aware of what is possible in terms of attaining their appearance goals. We respect and appreciate that they want facts, information, and specifics in addition to thoughtful, highly trained people to take care of them. " Kelly notes that the practice sees many repeat patients, who come in over the years to have additional procedures done and who refer others to the practice.
"What I like best about my work is getting to know our patients. We see so many different types of patients – in terms of age, body type, and needs. And we get to help make their lives a little bit better by being a part of their process as they move toward their goal of looking their very best. It's very gratifying to see our patients reach their goals, and I know that each member of our staff is proud to work here. We each do our part to support Dr. Leff in giving our patients the best possible care."
Laurie Teddy-Skok, R.N.
Laurie is a nurse surgical assistant to Dr. Leff and has worked with him for the past 21 years. A multi-faceted professional, she has served in the capacity of patient coordinator, surgical circulator nurse, initial consultation assistant, pre- and post-op nurse, and all around patient care specialist over the years. Currently, she assists Dr. Leff in the O.R., both in the clinic and (for larger cases) in the hospital.
Laurie has specialized in the care of plastic/cosmetic surgery patients for the past 23 years, after completing her nursing training in Bellevue. She began her career as a medical nurse at Evergreen Vista, where she later became charge nurse. In 1987, she began working with a plastic surgeon in Bellevue, and was recruited to work with Dr. Leff in 1989. She describes him as a doctor who communicates well with everyone, noting that he is a great listener who has an excellent rapport with patients.
"It's a very positive practice, and we get along like a close-knit family. I truly look forward to going to work every day, and witnessing the growth of self-esteem our patients experience when they achieve the appearance they've wanted for so long."
Laurie observes that patients today are more open and comfortable discussing their appearance goals and appreciates the fact that they ask questions and educate themselves about their choices. "We do important work here on behalf of our patients, " she says, pointing out that Dr. Leff performs many breast reconstruction and breast reduction surgeries, in addition to the full range of other cosmetic surgery and non-surgical procedures. "We give our patients a lot of TLC and we're proud that they refer their friends and family members to us. It's just a great place to work."