Meet The Team
Dr. Epstein and his team strive to make sure that each patient’s experience is as positive and rewarding as possible. Each of our staff members is armed with technical know-how, compassion, professionalism, and a genuine concern for your safety and well-being. We take patient care quite seriously, and our goal is to exceed your greatest expectations.
Michael A. Epstein, MD, FACS
Dr. Michael Epstein received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. He trained in general surgery at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago and returned to Detroit for his Plastic Surgery fellowship. He received additional cosmetic surgery training at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York and has held an academic position at the University of Chicago’s Department of Plastic Surgery.
An active member of the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and The Rhinoplasty Society, Dr. Epstein has received critical acclaim for his advanced techniques in cosmetic surgery. Someone who always gives back to the community, Dr. Epstein has received praise for his generous community work and affiliations with such organizations as Y-Me and the Sue Duncan Children’s Foundation. He was co-founder of Chicago’s Esteem Makeover and participated as one of the team’s cosmetic surgeons. He has also performed numerous pro-bono surgeries for people in need.
Jill Pearlman, Patient Care Coordinator
Jill loves what she does! As one of MAE Plastic Surgery’s Patient Care Coordinators, Jill communicates with patients each and every day, answering their questions and assisting them with the entire process from start to finish. From details about various surgical procedures and recovery times, to insurance and payment options, Jill provides a wealth of information! Working in the industry since 2006, Jill’s knowledge and welcoming personality instantly puts patients at ease. She knows how to make them feel comfortable and confident with their decision. An exceptional listener and readily available to respond to patient’s questions or concerns, Jill’s favorite part of her job is connecting with people and assisting them in reaching their goals of looking and feeling better, inside and out. She looks forward to meeting you and being part of your MAE experience!
Erin Catanese, BSN, RN
Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse
Erin obtained her nursing degree from the University of Iowa in 2002. She started her career as an emergency room nurse and was introduced to Dr. Epstein in 2005, when she changed her specialty to Peri-Anesthesia nursing. Erin was immediately impressed with the family-like atmosphere of Dr. Epstein’s practice and the way in which he interacted with his patients, and she became Nurse Manager of Northbrook Plastic Surgery in January 2011. Erin provides dedicated one-on-one care for all surgical patients (both pre-operatively and post-operatively) and is in charge of maintaining the facility’s accreditation with the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery (AAAASF). Always wanting to learn and give even more to her patients, Erin has achieved her certification in Plastic Surgery Nursing.
Rosa Goné, Medical Assistant
With a long history in the medical field, working in hospitals and at urgent care centers, Rosa joined MAE Plastic Surgery in 2006. As MAE’s medical assistant, she spends most of her time in the surgical center working side-by-side with Dr. Epstein. She is with patients before each procedure helping to prepare them, assists the doctor in the operating room, and is with patients once again during recovery to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible. In addition, Rosa handles the day-to-day functioning of Northbrook Plastic Surgery, where MAE’s surgical procedures take place. Dr. Epstein calls her “Radar O’Reilly”, as she is always so good at anticipating the doctor’s needs during surgery. Rosa feels fortunate to be part of a team that impacts people’s lives in such a positive way. She’s seen how plastic surgery improves a patient’s self-image and confidence, and to her, there’s nothing more rewarding.
CHAS (Griff) Griffith, Surgical Assistant
Griff received his surgical training at OFOMC, a south suburban level one trauma center from 1988 – 1992 training in multiple surgical disciplines. In 1994, choosing to expand his surgical experience, Griff joined the United Surgical Partners team and began to focus his training on Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He worked with Board Certified members of this team for 12 years and it’s where he first met Dr. Michael A. Epstein. In 2007, Griff joined MAE Plastic Surgery. As a member of the MAE team, he is responsible for the aseptic preparation of the OR for each surgical procedure as well as assisting Dr. Epstein in the majority of these procedures. With his “patient first” approach, he is laser focused on providing the best surgical assistance for Dr. Epstein and thus optimizing the results for each patient. Griff considers it a privilege and a pleasure to be part of the team that helps to bolster the self esteem and confidence of our patients.
Maureen Spahr, RN
ASAPS Injector Competence Certified
Maureen was certified by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Injector Competence Training in 2005. She joined MAE in 2015 and has been an RN for over 30 years. Starting as a family medicine nurse, Maureen soon discovered her true passion in the world of cosmetic injectables and soft tissue fillers. Today, because of her training, experience and exceptional technique, doctors and nurses throughout the country have invited Maureen to share her knowledge, demonstrate her expertise and teach them the finer points of injecting. A skilled perfectionist who prides herself on staying a step ahead, she’s always learning about the latest products and procedures. Maureen takes her time with every patient, listens closely, and develops a personalized treatment plan that addresses their concerns. Her greatest joy is helping her clients look and feel their very best.
Maya Rakhman BSN, RN
Aesthetic Nurse Injector
Our newest addition to the MAE Plastic Surgery and Transcend Med Spa team is nurse injector Maya. Maya graduated from the University of Illinois College of Nursing. She completed her degree Cum Laude and as a member of the Honors College. Maya began her career with Northshore University Health System as a medical-surgical and Covid nurse. In that position, she refined her skill of patient assessment which she carries into her practice as an injector. Maya always had a passion for beauty and transitioned her career into aesthetics by studying under the top injectors in the country. She continues her education by attending courses, seminars, and trainings to stay up to date with new techniques and products. Most importantly, Maya strives to make her patients feel comfortable in her chair and feeling like their most beautiful selves.
Edyta Mitera, Licensed Aesthetician
If the skin could talk, it would have the greatest praise for the skill and expertise of Edyta, who joined Transcend MedSpa in 2012. A licensed aesthetician since 2002, Edyta has helped hundreds of men, women and teens achieve beautiful, long-lasting results. The constant referrals from her clients support what we already know; Edyta has a true gift and a magic touch. Within minutes, she’s able to determine the precise treatment to achieve the very best outcomes. Her years of training and education, along with her desire to help her clients achieve their goals, have helped make Edyta a stand-out among her peers. Her desire to stay a step ahead with the latest skincare innovations by studying new treatments, products and procedures (including cosmetic lasers), contributes to her incredible success with patients.
Kitty Shipp, Licensed Aesthetician
Kitty began working at MAE Plastic Surgery and Transcend MedSpa in January 2021, but has been a friend of the practice for 14 years! Her love of skincare started a long time ago, and in 2019 she decided to pursue her dream of being a licensed aesthetician. She loves working at MAE Plastic Surgery and Transcend Med Spa, not only because our staff and patients are awesome, but she is able to keep up with the latest skincare products and treatments.
Jennifer Nallen, Administrative Services Manager
Jen began working for MAE Plastic Surgery way back in 1995 when everything was done with paper & pencil, including having a scheduling book and paper charts! After several years at the reception desk, she took an eleven year leave of absence to raise her two children, and returned to MAE as an administrative assistant in 2011. Jen became the Administrative Services Manager in 2018 overseeing the front office and the day to day functions of the practice. Not only does Jen love what she does, she finds the industry fascinating. Seeing how plastic surgery procedures, and even non-invasive treatments like laser, BOTOX® or fillers, can change someone’s life is something that Jen has witnessed over and over again. “The joy on our patient’s faces is something I see every single day. I can’t imagine working anywhere else!”
Elyse Comitor, Administrative Assistant
Elyse joined MAE Plastic Surgery in 2007 as an administrative assistant. She’s one of the first people that patients speak with as her primary responsibilities include answering the phones, scheduling appointments and responding to questions that patients may have regarding their visits. Prior to MAE, Elyse worked for her husband’s advertising agency, managing the office and working with their creative team. She is also a phlebotomist (although she has yet to put this training to use at MAE!) When asked what she likes best about her job, Elyse especially enjoys the daily interaction with patients and seeing their beautiful transformations. And, why do patients choose MAE Plastic Surgery? “That’s easy,” she says. “They know we sincerely care about them and do our best to make them feel welcome”
Tara Breezee, Administrative Assistant & Social Media Specialist
Tara joined the MAE Plastic Surgery team in April 2019. In addition to her smiling face greeting patients and checking them out when they leave, she handles the marketing and social media for the office.Her friendly demeanor and industry knowledge make patients feel comfortable right away. She graduated from The University of Kentucky in 2013 (Go Cats!) and later attended Paul Mitchell The School Chicago in 2015. She has always held an interest in the beauty industry and realized she likes the administrative side just as much as working with clients. Working at MAE Plastic Surgery, Tara has found a whole new way to see the joy people get from feeling beautiful!