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.

Jane McAtee, J.D.

Meet Jane McAtee, Your NShore Patient Advocates J.D.Jane McAtee, J.D. worked as a health care attorney at a major Chicago teaching hospital for 33 years. Her practice focused on medical malpractice defense, management of a self-insurance program, hospital law and ethics and issues related to medical licensure and professionalism. She was a faculty member of the MaClean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, working with colleagues in assessing the choices available to patients and their health care providers. She is expert at understanding and explaining, both to medical personnel and to lay people, complex patient and family healthcare needs. Jane worked closely with doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and health care administrators and was known as a superb communicator. She has analyzed thousands of medical cases to assess legal, risk and ethics issues.

Jane graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in education. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan. She completed a mediation course at Dominican University and has completed the course work for Addictions Counseling at the College of DuPage. She has lectured to many medical and legal groups and to community groups on risk, ethics and advanced directives issues in health care. Her favorite course to teach was titled “Law at the Bedside.”

After retiring as a full-time attorney, Jane leveraged her in depth knowledge of medicine and the health care system to become a patient advocate. Jane has helped numerous friends and colleagues in this role informally for decades and is passionate about helping people make good health care decisions, weighing all of their options. Jane is eager to assist with any medical issues. She has a particular interest in cancer, transplantation and complex surgical situations. She is experienced in pediatrics and obstetrics care. Her intelligence, compassion and enthusiasm will serve her clients and their families well.

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.

Susan Snyder, BSN

Meet Susan Snyder, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered NurseSusan Snyder, BSN comes to NShore with over 24 years nursing experience. While originally hailing from Tennessee, Susan has lived and worked all over the country. She received her BN from East Tennessee State University, where she fell in love with patient care. Working as Supervisor of Practice Operations with a large medical group for the last 13 years has given Susan exposure and expertise of the rapidly changing field of healthcare in today’s medical landscape; focusing on patient experience, access to care, and efficiency of operations. While expanding her managerial and oversight experience was wonderful for advancing her career, it did take Susan away from what she loves most – directly helping patients.

Susan is beyond thrilled to be professionally entering the realm of patient advocacy. Using communication skills, demonstrating compassion, and utilizing the high degree of empathy she feels for anyone in a medical crisis is what drives her. Like many other RN advocates, Susan gained a true understanding of the value of advocacy through personal experience. Negotiating with insurance companies, collaborating with her parents’ physicians, and constructing long-term care plans has allowed Susan to see just how valuable patient advocates can be, and moreover, what can happen when families don’t have an advocate to stand and fight on their behalf.

Holly Monger, Registered Health Underwriter

Meet Holly Monger, Your Registered Health UnderwriterHolly is a Registered Health Underwriter and has 30 years experience in the health insurance industry. Holly started her career at Allstate Insurance Company as a Health Claims Examiner. Her career progressed through Claims Administration, Benefits and User Acceptance Testing. She left Allstate as a Regional Group Claims Manager responsible for software testing of the claims payment systems. Her career then turned to the property casualty side as a part-time Business Systems Analyst at Kemper Insurance Company. She also spent time at a small general agency filing all lines of claims incurred by clients.

Holly began insurance consulting in 1992 after realizing her real interests were in health insurance. She has spent the years since using her skills and resources to help countless individuals and companies find resolutions to their difficult insurance situations.

Holly is a licensed Producer in Accident/Health, Life, Fire and Casualty. She maintains her license through continuing education and keeps abreast of legislation through her membership with the National Association of Health Underwriters. Although Holly is licensed to sell all lines of insurance, she chooses not to actively sell any line of insurance. She feels that it would be “a conflict of interest to those clients’ who are looking for an objective opinion.”

Jeryl Ann Wojcik, A.A.S., B.A., C.Ph.T., Business Office Manager, Director of Human Resources

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.