NShore Patient Advocates, LLC
150 S. Wacker, Ste 2400, Chicago, IL 60606
info@northshorern.com  ·  312-788-2640

Meet Your Advocates

Teri Dreher, RN, CCRN, iRNPA: Chief Advocate and President

Meet Teri Dreher, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseTeri, an RN with 36 years of experience, has always been passionate about keeping the patient at the center of the nursing care model. This passion led her to form NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011. NSPA is one of the first organizations of its kind in Chicagoland.

With a background in critical care nursing and home based health care, combined with experience as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri knows the complexities and challenges of obtaining premium quality care, especially in fast-paced hospital settings.

Having worked closely with physicians and ancillary health care team members at some of the country’s premier hospitals, she firmly believes in the principles of positive collaboration and the benefits of improved communication between patients and providers. She is committed to helping patients navigate acute illnesses and reducing the possibility of medical error. She has an eye for spotting details a lay person is unlikely to notice.

Teri is nationally accredited for RN Patient Advocacy through a program affiliated with the University of Arizona School of Nursing. She is a member of two national RN advocacy organizations spearheading this new but fast-growing field. She is a board member of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants.

For more information, or a no-cost 30-minute initial consultation, please call 312-788-2640 or click here to fill out our online callback request form.

Maryellen Jachimowski, RN, MSN, CSA: Professional Patient Advocate

Meet Maryellen Jachimowski, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseMaryellen Jachimowski, RN, MSN, CSA, is a career nurse who is expert in understanding and responding to complex patient and family healthcare needs as they face an uncertain journey through our constantly changing healthcare system.

Maryellen obtained her undergraduate nursing degree at Loyola University (Chicago), followed by graduate studies in Adult Psychiatric Nursing at Boston University. She has more than 30 years’ experience in clinical, administrative and teaching positions at nationally-ranked medical centers in Boston and Chicago. Her clinical experience includes positions in medical intensive care at Massachusetts General Hospital; psychiatry/substance abuse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and occupational health at two national railroad companies where she established federally-mandated drug screening programs and personally authorized injured employees’ return to work.

Maryellen later focused on healthcare risk management, serving as a risk consultant for a national consulting firm, then becoming Director of Risk Management at a large Chicago hospital. She simultaneously became certified as a Legal Nurse Consultant, and since that time worked for both plaintiff and defense law firms, reviewing medical cases for merit. Maryellen also served as the president of the Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants and as administrator for the Illinois Judges Foundation. Passionate about the emerging role of professional advocacy, she is presently the Executive Director of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC), and a member of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates as well as a Certified Senior Advisor, increasing her ability to assess older adults and to suggest a vast array of resources to meet their needs.

Maryellen’s professional heart, mind and energies are focused exclusively on helping clients understand and organize their choices about healthcare in both acute and chronic illness. Her professional creed says it all: “I know where healthcare mistakes are made and how to prevent them.”

Sibyl M. Yau, MSN, RN

Meet Sibyl M. Yau, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseSibyl has a purpose in life, and that is to help others navigate the healthcare challenges facing their loved ones. She has done this for many people, including her own family amid health crises. It is through supporting these family members that she found her passion and calling: patient advocacy.

Through varied patient care, quality improvement, and cost-containment initiatives, Sibyl developed a deep desire to improve the quality of systems that deliver care and the operations that support them, and the people they are supposed to protect.

Sibyl received her Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from Loyola University of Chicago. She spent many years working at University of Chicago Medical Center in the Peri-Anesthesia unit, GI Procedure Unit and as the clinician in the Purchasing Department. Sibyl also worked at the University of Illinois Hospital in the GI Procedure Unit and Pulmonary Clinic.

Helping those who need assistance to find their way through a health care crisis or change in health status, to learn about all options available and to improve communication between individuals/family members with all members of the health care team is what Sibyl can do for you.

Anne McGuire, RN, BSN, CCM, Professional Advocate

Meet Anne McGuire, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseAnne McGuire is a Professional Advocate who has been working in the healthcare industry for over 30 years. Since 2000, Anne has helped individuals, families, employees and small companies find, understand, manage, and advocate for their healthcare needs and coverage. Her additional work experience includes being a Surgical Trauma Nurse at Yale New Haven Hospital, a Home Care Case Manager and Clinical Supervisor, and a Utilization Review Nurse and Certified Case Manager for Tuft Health plan. She is a Registered Nurse, who earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from Hartwick College and has a Life and Health Insurance license.

Her healthcare career began as a teenage volunteer Emergency Medical Technician for Darien EMS-Post 53, where she is now a member of the board of directors. She is the board president for At Home In Darien, a non-profit organization that helps seniors live independently and remain active in their communities. In 1997, she returned to her home town of Darien, CT and lives there with her husband. Anne works with NShore Patient Advocates remotely to help mediate and resolve insurance disputes and make sure our clients receive their maximum benefits allowable.

Deborah Ben-Abu, RN, CCRN, LNC

Meet Deborah Ben-Abu, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseDeborah (Debby), hails from the east coast, but she has been a midwesterner for over 20 years. She received her BSN degree in nursing from Northeastern University in Boston Mass. She has been a nurse for over 30 years mainly in the hospital, working in the direct patient care setting, in addition to working in the supervisory capacity. Concurrently, for the past 10 years, Debby has been a legal nurse consultant, assisting attorneys in medically related legal issues.

This background affords her the insight and forethought to identify individualized patient needs and provide safe and effective care in order to attain mutually set goals. She has navigated the home care system for many years caring for her elderly parents. This has widened her perspective as to available resources and the gaps in the health care system. As a member of the population of families who are today’s caregivers, she is well schooled in the challenging needs of the elderly population and their desire to maintain their maximal independence, as long as possible, while providing dignified, safe and comfortable care. In addition, personal health issues have enhanced her understanding of illness far beyond her professional skills and academic education, and has humbled her to recognize the importance of listening and communication with patient and family members to identify their individual needs and concerns.

Debby has witnessed the dramatic changes in nursing care over the years, and the decline in the patient centered focus due to the financial constraints in the health care industry. These changes have caused her career path to gravitate to the role of the nurse advocate, which allows her to again use her nursing skills and experiences the treat the “whole” patient and family.

Sarah F. Valek, RN, MSN, MBA

Meet Sarah F. Valek, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseSarah F Valek RN MSN MBA is a dedicated RN with 18 years experience in cardiology, pediatrics and healthcare management. She found her passion for advocacy early on in her career and understands the challenges patients face in today’s complex healthcare system. Sarah obtained her BSN from OSF, St Francis College of Nursing in Peoria, followed by double graduate degrees in nursing
administration (MSN) and Healthcare Management (MBA) from Lewis University. Sarah’s clinical experience began in cardiac nursing as she cared for postoperative open heart, heart transplant and heart attack patients. It was there where she learned the power of good communication and collaboration with healthcare providers at all levels. Sarah later focussed on pediatrics, serving as nurse manager in an ambletory setting. She was able to coordinate care with insurance companies for approvals, and advocate for patients and families who were medically complex and at times socially fragile. This experience has also lead Sarah to navigate and care for her own family members in times of need. Her compassion shines through her work and she is focused on putting the needs of you or your loved one first. Sarah resides with her husband and three children in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Jeryl Ann Wojcik, A.A.S., B.A., C.Ph.T., Business Office Coordinator

Meet Jeryl Ann Wojcik, Business Office Coordinator for NShore Patient AdvocatesJeryl comes to NShore Patient Advocates with an Associate’s Degree in Merchandising & Marketing from Wilbur Wright Junior College in Chicago, IL, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Resource Development from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL, and is a Licensed (IL) and Certified Pharmacy Technician. Jeryl has over 20 years of administrative experience in various facets of the Healthcare Industry, has prior work experience as a Marketing Coordinator, and also has over 10 years experience in the Banking/Financial Industry. Amongst the many duties Jeryl holds are billing and payroll for the staff. Jeryl enjoys working in an administrative support setting, and is here to assist with questions or concerns you may have.

Anna Dolezal, MS, Health Communication Project Coordinator

Anna Dolezal, Health Communication Project CoordinatorAnna Dolezal is a recent graduate of Northwestern’s Masters of Science in Health Communication program. She’s a dedicated health communicator and media researcher, passionate about education, public health, media policy, and mediated portrayals of health and illness. Known for critical thinking skills and an empathetic attitude, Anna is committed to helping patients and people around the world through education and advocacy.