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Meet the Staff of Dr. Sofonio

Monica Bonakdar MD

Monica Bonakdar MD

Injectable Expert

Dr. Monica Bonakdar has focused her entire practice on aesthetic medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree and her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine graduating with Phi Beta Kappa, National Honors Society, and Cum Laude Honors. She completed her residency at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Bonakdar is best known for her expertise and passion for facial rejuvenation using cosmetic injectables to create beauty and confidence for her patients. She is an Allergan Medical Institute faculty member. She specializes in educating other doctors in the art and science of using Botox Cosmetic and Juvederm portfolio of fillers to reverse aging changes

Kyle James

Office Manager

Kyle James is the surgery coordinator and office manager for Dr. Mark Sofonio and has been working with Dr. Sofonio for nearly 10 years.

For her, it is all about personal empowerment and transformation in her personal and professional life. Kyle’s professional journey began 30 years ago in the cosmetic industry with two major manufacturing companies responsible for product distribution and sales training/motivation of 11 western states.

Kyle’s path of self-empowerment and her joy of assisting others to obtain their own personal goals led her to her own business, K.J. Events, providing meeting planning and special events for network marketing companies. This business path eventually brought Kyle to the desert.

Today Kyle enjoys her professional success and believes the harder she works, the luckier she gets. Instilling in her staff the knowledge of how they can be the best at what they do, she encourages them to focus on being women of value and quality. Kyle’s many years of involvement in the beauty world allowed for a natural progression into the field of plastic surgery.

When we have something on our exterior that inhibits us on the interior and we are empowered enough to do something about it, then we can transform our bodies like a butterfly, Kyle says.

Jon Poling

Jon Poling


Jon Poling, PA, has been a Physician Assistant for 36 years, 20 of which he has spent specializing in Cosmetic Dermatology. He graduated from the Physician Assistant Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1975. He practiced in the USAF until 1988. As the retired USAF Captain, Jon ran rescue and recovery for the space shuttle efforts at Edwards Air Force Base along with being responsible for the Aerospace Medical Section. Following this career, he established a private practice in 1989. He has been practicing in the Coachella Valley for the last 22 years.

Jon Poling primary expertise is in the field of cosmetic laser technology and Dermatology. Jon has been a repeated guest lecturer at the meeting for Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons. Jon also has been an investigator and injector of facial fillers and neurotoxins for since 1996. His experience lies in the use of Botox and Dysport, along with cosmetic fillers including Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and the volumizer Sculptra for use as a liquid facelift. He has trained with the experts from around the world including some of the product’s inventors.

Jon‘s expertise also lies in the practice of Dermatology, skin cancer and skin cancer surgery. He has over 43 yrs experience in Dermatology, 30 years in Cosmetic Dermatology and 15 years in Hair transplantation.

Cindy Mc Elwian

Cindy Mc Elwian


Cindy is a seasoned surgical RN with 30 years experience in patient care before, during and after surgery. She is also a fully trained recovery nurse. In addition, over the last year, she has been trained in the use of Ultherapy, the first focused ultrasound therapy available in the United States.

I love seeing the results of Ultherapy. The patients have no downtime, require no recovery, have no incisions and have immediate results. It kind of seems like magic.

Kay Ward

Body Contouring Specialist

Kay’s personalized mission was created over 30 years ago when she was the Vice President of Nursing and a consultant for the Sisters of Mercy. Kay is an advocate for patients and in creating “abundance in the stewardship of others”. Kay’s vast experience also includes working in Critical Care, Emergency Room, and acting as a flight nurse.
With her passion for international travel and study abroad, Kay’s adventures lead her to the Middle East while she studied the Ancient Mystery Schools of Egypt. Her trip to Russia became a gateway for academic learning of behavioral science at the University of Moscow. The Russian revolution forced an escape plan to Paris and London where Kay enjoyed her new passion of studying fashion design. Having retired on three different occasions, Kay now enjoys the Lord’s work of melting fat in a collaborative practice of plastic surgery.

Patti Owens

Patti Owens

Regulatory & Compliance Officer

Patti’s experience includes 20 years as a surgical nurse, educator, and laser manager at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, WA. She also managed the laser / aesthetic program along with performing a variety of cosmetic and aesthetic laser procedures for 13 years in a dermatology clinic in Olympia, WA. In addition, Patti is a national consultant for a variety of laser companies and organizations with a focus toward aesthetic and medical safety education. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Health Administration from Chapman University in 1996. Her co-authored book with Pamela Hill, Milady’s Aesthetician Series, Laser and Light Therapy, was published in 2009 by Cengage Learning.

I am passionate about my work in order to enhance my patients’ experience and help them achieve their rejuvenation goals.

On April 4, 2014, Patti Owens RN, MHA, CMLSO received the coveted Excellence in Laser Nursing / Allied Health Award in Phoenix, Arizona. The American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) promotes excellence in patient care by advancing the medical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide.

The Excellence award was established in 1991 to recognize outstanding nursing and allied health contributions to ASLMS and the advancement of joint practices in laser medicine and surgery. The award recipient must have demonstrated expertise, consistent professional conduct, active involvement and exceptional standards of practice. Patti has been a dedicated member in ASLMS for the last 23 years and has obtained “Fellowship Status”.

As a faculty member and instructor, published author, and the safety representative to the ASLMS board, Patti fulfilled the criteria twice. Patti first received this award in 1999 and now she is the only nurse to be nominated twice in ASLMS history for this distinguished award.

Patti Owens is presently employed at Mark Sofonio MD, F.A.C.S. plastic surgery office in Rancho Mirage. Patti also provides private consulting advice through her own safety consulting company, AestheticMed Consulting International.

Doug Ortiz

Doug Ortiz

OR Director

Mr. Ortiz received his BSN in nursing at Hawaii Pacific University in Kaneohe Hawaii. Upon completion of his studies he was employed at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs in the ICU department. Doug later took a position at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruses, New Mexico in the ICU as a travel nurse. After completing his contract in New Mexico, Doug returned to California to work at Hi Desert Medical Center in their Emergency Room department. Doug joined Sofonio Plastic Surgery in 2014 and is the Director of the OR.

Monica Alvarez

Body Contouring Specialist
John Graciano

John Graciano

Surgical Assistant & Technician

John Graciano is a Certified Surgical Technician who trained in a 3-year program and graduated with top honors. John has been the personal scrub technician for the last 20 years. He has been Dr. Sofonio’s personal assistant for over 10,000 surgeries. John looks forward to providing personalized and competent care during each and every surgical procedure!

Sheila Celaya

Administration Assistant, Licensed Esthetician

Sheila has been the Administrative Medical Assistant for the front business office for the last 14 years. Her expertise in scheduling, communications and billing has enhanced our customer service at Dr. Sofonio’s office. Sheila is also a Medical Assistant which is important with our patients as questions arise. You will see Sheila as you check out from your procedures.

Bri Graciano

Bri Graciano

Administrative Assistant

Bri started working with Dr. Sofonio 5 years ago as the manager of the Skin Cancer Institute. Her efficient administrative skills and pleasant mannerism make Bri a definite asset at our clinic. She is the always ready to greet you at the front desk when you check in. Her goal is to answer your questions and provide an excellent office experience.

Elizabeth Hagger

Elizabeth Hagger

Administrative Assistant, Licensed Esthetician

Elizabeth has been working with Dr. Sofonio for the last four years with her emphasis on patient consultation, scheduling and follow ups. She began her career in the skin rejuvenation industry nearly 20 years ago. In the last two decades, she has been a Licensed Esthetician, medical receptionist, medical biller and continues to make education her top priority. Elizabeth brings to the work place a youthful entrepreneurial spirit that is infections to both peers and office clientele.

jacque vaccaro

Jacque Vaccaro

Administrative Assistant

Jacque is from the San Francisco Bay area where she was the administrative assistant for a medical laboratory company for 35 years. Her expertise and administrative skills are greatly appreciated as she greets and checks in our patients.

Danielle Rubino

Director of Skincare & Licensed Aesthetician

Danielle Rubino, our Director of Skincare & Licensed Aesthetician, draws upon over 24 years in the beauty industry, working for multiple world-renowned dermatologists and plastic surgeons from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles. Danielle's facial treatments have been featured on various news shows, websites and in several magazines, including two times in Allure for their "Little Black Book Directory." She has additional certification and education in: Ultherapy, dermaplaning, chemical peels, microneedling, dermal infusion, ultrasound, microdermabrasion, brow shaping artistry and lash tinting. She is also a licensed massage therapist and studied Thai massage in Bangkok, Thailand, for further education. Danielle joined Sofonio Plastic Surgery in 2020 and her passion for knowledge in the dynamic, ever changing skincare/beauty industry ensures that she stays informed with the latest technologies, cutting edge products & services. Her philosophy is "It's easier to prevent and maintain rather than correct and maintain" and will always give an honest opinion helping lead patients to realistic goals. Danielle loves her career and feels that when you love what you do, you’ll never “work” a day in your life. At home, Danielle enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, listening to music, being outdoors and constantly learning about inner peace.

Desiree Martinez

Aesthetician & MA

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