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.

Damaris Boutros RN, MS: Professional Patient Advocate

Meet Damaris Boutros, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseDamaris has been in Nursing for over 28 years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Albion College in 1985, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from DePauw University in 1986 and completed her Master of Science in Oncology Nursing from Rush University in 1992. In addition to experience with adult and pediatric inpatient and home health care nursing, Damaris was a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Pediatric Oncology for several years at Loyola University Medical Center and The University of Chicago Medical Center. Her focus in practice today is to help clients and their families navigate the health-care system, provide information throughout the decision-making process and minimize the stress and confusion arising from a complex medical situation.

“It can be overwhelming for an individual or family member facing a new diagnosis or the progression of a chronic illness to know what direction to take. My role is to help patients and families navigate their healthcare choices and to collaborate with healthcare providers on their behalf to make sure the patient is the center of all decisions being made.”

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.

Crystal Locke, MSN, RN, CCP, CCM: Professional Patient Advocate

Meet Crystal Locke, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseCrystal Locke, MSN, RN, CCP, CCM is a caring, dedicated, goal directed, result oriented professional who has been a nurse for 19 years. She has worked as a nursing professional in long-term care, physical rehabilitation, general medicine, telemetry, home health, charter school, disease management, case management and community health.

She is a skilled communicator that is persuasive and motivated with high energy. Her keen insight into the needs and views of others allows her to identify potential problem areas and form innovative solutions.

Crystal is a board certified case manager (CCM) and also a Certified Chronic Care professional (CCP) and health coach. Board certification is the mark that sets you apart, demonstrating that you have the experience and knowledge it takes to serve clients with complex challenges.

Her desire is to support and empower the clients that’s she serves. In doing this she works with clients at every level of the healthcare system to improve understanding of their healthcare choices and their ability to navigate the healthcare system effectively.

Crystal is an active member of the following professional organizations: Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and Lambda Pi Alpha Nursing Sorority.

“I believe that everyone should be provided safe, effective, quality health care. I am passionate about patients obtaining the best possible care and treatment that is suited to their needs as an individual.”

Patsy Tongren RN, BSN, CCRN, CCP

Meet Patsy Tongren, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NursePatsy received a BSN degree from Lewis University and has enjoyed a successful 35-year career as a registered nurse. Over her career, Patsy has established an electrophysiology lab, heart failure and device clinics, implemented quality assurance, cost analysis and volume assessments. She has overseen a 400-patient outpatient device clinic with follow up care, coordinated training for physicians, nurses and staff, and created educational materials for stroke physicians, nurses and patients. Critical care has been at the forefront of Patsy’s strengths as she helped build healthier lives and strengthen hospital programs.

Recently, after her own illness leads her to discover complimentary treatments through Integrative medicine, Patsy trained and received certification from the Dr. Peter Mandel Institute as a Certified Colorpuncture Practitioner (CCP).

With a combined approach to patient care, quality improvement through implementation of standards and the ever changing healthcare system, Patsy has used her combined experience to help facilitate improved patient outcomes; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. She has used this approach not only with her own health crisis, but became impassioned to help advocate for family and friends. These experiences have ignited a new mission: to help those with an acute or chronic health diagnosis navigate through the challenging healthcare system through open communication, evidence based knowledge, and deep respect of the client’s directives.

Merrilee Hepler, Consultant

Meet Merrilee Hepler, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseMerrilee holds a BS degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. With over 30 years of experience in healthcare and human service administration, Merrilee brings a unique blend of healthcare knowledge, business experience, and human resource management that provides for the ability to effectively work through complex problems and manage the multi-faceted nature of the patient experience in today’s healthcare settings. Currently working as a Consultant with NShore Patient Advocates, Merrilee focuses on human resource policies and operations support.

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.