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

The NSPA Blog

Get to Know Your Advocate – Sibyl Yau

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Posted on December 11th, 2017 by Teri Dreher, under Inspiring Stories, Patient Advocacy, Patient Tools, Tips & Resources

Q: Let’s start with the obvious; what you drew you to patient advocacy?

A: I’m an only child and my parents were older when I was born. My mother was 36 when she had me, so I grew up with older parents who had healthcare issues. I became a nurse because my mother told me it was a good job. I also felt like it was my thing, to help people. So, being the nurse in the family, I took care of my older parents and then aunts and uncles on each side that needed help too, along with their family members. So, across my nursing career, I’ve taken care of 7 people and advocated for 3 people at their end-of-life. I helped them have a more peaceful death. Their family was more comfortable with the way their loved one died, so that’s how I knew I was going to be an advocate, because I was able to do good for people in my family and I wanted to extend it to people I didn’t know.

Q: How did you get to know Teri, or NShore Patient Advocates?

A: After I joined the Healthcare Business Women’s Association, which is a women’s group- mostly all women who are in the pharmaceutical or healthcare industry- Teri’s group was doing a presentation in April 2016. It was on women as Chief Medical Officers. It was a panel discussion and Teri was in South Africa, so she couldn’t participate, but another one of her nurse advocates at the time was on the panel. After hearing her, I was like, “Wow, a company about patient advocacy? I have to meet the owner.” So, at the April meeting, she had come and I told the person running the meeting that I had to be introduced to Teri. I met her, and we just clicked. It was two hearts connecting in terms of our passion for helping other people, and by May of that year I had decided to take a position with her.

Q: For you, what’s the best part about being a RN patient advocate?

A: It’s creating a solution for people. It’s going where nobody was able to think of going before, in terms of creating a best solution that considers the person’s wishes for themselves, what the family wants, what resources they need. You can bring out all of the issues and figure out the best solution and weave it all into something that’s what they need. You develop a customized solution and potential course of action that people couldn’t get before. I can provide that.

Q: Is there any case that you can tell us about, that was particularly challenging or rewarding?

A: My first client was both challenging and rewarding. A relatively young woman, she was 54. She had a growth of blood vessels behind her eye. It had been monitored for 10 years but it was growing, and her vision was decreasing. She was really worried because, being young, she needed her vision. Because of her insurance and job, she didn’t have a lot of money. But they decided to invest in my services because I could help her find the right doctor, the right surgeon, the right hospital, support them through the surgery (which went beautifully), so it was a total success for my first client.

Q: As we know, healthcare today is pretty complex and confusing. What would your top piece of advice be for people trying to stay engaged in their care?

A: I would have two pieces of advice. One, ask a lot of questions. Don’t let the doctor leave until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction. The second, use the internet, but use it wisely. Don’t believe just anything that comes up on a search or in a blog. Those are all personal experiences or opinions, which does not make them credible.


For more information on Sibyl, check her out on our home page: http://www.northshorern.com/meet-your-advocates/

Meet Sibyl M. Yau, Your NShore Patient Advocates Registered Nurse

With over 36 years of clinical experience in Critical Care nursing, home based health care and expertise as a cardiovascular nurse clinician, Teri is well acquainted with the complexities of the modern healthcare system. She has served as a nursing leader, mentor, educator, and consistent patient advocate throughout her career in some of the best hospitals across the country. Her passion to keep the patient at the center of the model of nursing care led her to incorporate NShore Patient Advocates, LLC in 2011, serving clients throughout the northern suburbs of Chicago.

For a no-cost 30 minute initial consultation, please call 847-612-6684 or click here to fill out our online callback request form.