Three RN advocates honored
NShore Patient Advocates, a large private patient advocacy company, said three of its RN advocates were awarded professional certification by the Patient Advocate Certification Board.
They were among the first group of advocates to successfully take the board's inaugural national certification exam.
Nurses Maryellen Jachimowski, Sibyl M. Yau and Teri Dreher -- also NShore's founder and president -- were awarded.
Private patient advocates are not affiliated with doctors or hospitals. They work as private consultants to guide patients and families through the complexities of modern health care. Their services include helping clients choose the best medical providers for their situation, researching treatment options and acting as liaison between doctors and patients.
The field of patient advocacy is less than 20 years old. About 20 universities offer graduate certificate programs; there are two professional associations. The nonprofit PACB was organized in 2012 to establish ethical standards, professional competencies and best practices for private advocates.
As a result of passing the exam, Jachimowski, Yau, and Dreher have earned the Board Certified Patient Advocate credential -- a designation less than 150 private advocates nationwide can currently claim. Jachimowski is a Naperville resident, Yau is from Skokie and Dreher resides in Libertyville.
"The health care system has become so complex and profit driven, patients can get lost in the shuffle," says Dreher, who, after 30 years of critical care nursing, founded her company in 2011. "We don't let that happen -- we ensure patients get the best possible care."
Dreher, a recognized pioneer, was awarded her industry's highest honor, The APHA H. Kenneth Schueler Patient Advocacy Compass Award. Her book, "Patient Advocacy Matters," is now in its second printing.