Stepping Stone Healthcare Advocacy Services

What is a Healthcare Advocate and Why do I need one?

Professional patient advocates assist clients by working with members of a client's care team to ensure that care is planned and coordinated in such a way to maximize clinical outcomes. Patient advocates are generally licensed medical professionals such as Registered Nurses, licensed social workers, and other qualified health care professionals.

One of the primary objectives of a patient advocate is to help identify challenges in care, and work to overcome issues. Advocates can also help to find financial resources and help identify other important resources that help improve the quality of care being provided.

Some advocates work for hospitals, community-based organizations, or work independently. Regardless of who pays for these services, advocates focus on coordinating care among multiple providers to simplify the experience for the client.

Our Advocacy Process



Stepping Stone Advocacy








Stepping Stone Advocacy


Healthcare Advocacy is a wonderful service if you are lucky enough to have the help. For those who don't, navigating the healthcare system can be overwhelming. Stepping Stone Advocacy Services strives to help patients and their families avoid costly breakdowns in care and communication by putting our 20-plus years of experience to work.

Our advocacy process includes the essential steps to successfully managing plans of care for our clients. To achieve this goal, we have developed a simple 6-step process to make this journey easier for all involved. These 6 steps include Communication, Coordination, Education, Evaluation, Investigation, and Navigation. The advocacy process is not linear and occasionally reverses course unexpectedly. Generally speaking, health care is a highly charged, emotional process that leads to confusion and frustration. Let us take the lead so that you and your loved ones can focus on what is most important - getting better and remaining independent.

Why Choose Stepping Stone Advocacy Services?

The Founder and Innovator of Stepping Stone Advocacy Services comes from a background of over 40 years in Nursing coupled with 20 plus years as a Nurse Case Manager. As a Registered Nurse, she practiced patient advocacy under the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics which states:

“The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient. The nurse makes decisions and takes action consistent with the obligation to provide optimal patient care.”

Although she is now retired and not practicing Nursing, she brings these experiences to help patients and their families navigate the complexities of our current health care system, as a Patient Advocate.

She also has collaborated with The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, to develop a Preceptorship Program for Nurses and Clinicians. This Preceptorship Program provides independent learning modules. It also includes 12 weeks of one-to-one learning sessions with her, covering the foundations of Patient Advocacy and how to develop an advocacy business. Her hope is to provide an on-ramp to Nurses and Clinicians, to pivot to careers as Professional Health Advocates. She states, “Nurses and Clinicians are leaving healthcare in droves, and taking so much expertise and knowledge with them. These skills can be utilized, for better care and outcomes, in our communities and across the nation, as Patient Advocates."

In addition, at Stepping Stone Advocacy Services, the focus is on innovative approaches to meet our Client’s needs. Our software program was specifically designed by a Patient Advocate, who understands the role of the advocate as well as the needs of the client. It enables us to spend more time with our clients, and less time on paper work. The software is HIPAA compliant assuring all information is kept confidential. Families and clients can access our software platform through a portal, allowing seamless up to date communication with all parties. Invoicing and payment is done directly through the software platform.

Our website is designed to provide you with information regarding Patient Advocacy. You will also find a resource tab to locate additional information and support.

Frequent Questions

The person is often a nurse, social worker, geriatric care manager, or other health care professional who can help you navigate the health care system, including dealing with clinicians, understanding your condition and treatment options, and even helping with health insurance issues.


Lori Jumped Right In

My husband underwent nasal surgery 6 months ago, after he had a negative sleep study test and was referred to an ENT doctor due to continued fatigue and snoring.

Unfortunately, he developed two different serious infections, and we were concerned about his ongoing treatment with the ENT. In fact, we were very anxious because he wasn't getting better but the surgeon was not clear with us as to what to do next...

Lisa and Steve D
Highly Recommended

If you are in need of a patient advocate, I would highly recommend Lori Schellenberg.

She is extremely knowledgeable, effective, and professional. Knows when to be strong and forceful yet loving and caring with your loved one and your family.

I was concerned about an elderly family member who had several severe falls, was forgetting to take medication, not eating healthy and not keeping up with...

Debbie S
Extremely Talented!

What a great use of Lori’s talents!

I worked with Lori for several years during my career as an orthopedic surgeon. I know her to be not only compassionate and understanding but also a tireless advocate for what is right.

In difficult situations she was unwavering in her quest to enable me to provide the best possible care for my patients. She knows the system and how to work through it (and around it whenever necessary!

Dr. Ralph Salvagno, MD

Real Reviews From Real Clients

Joe Petrauskas

Lori has been there to help the family with a long very difficult journey with my brother. She has been by our side to help us deal with our 15 month medical journey with my brother Joe. Our healthcare system is broken...

Heather Morale

When my elderly father fell, and was put in the hospital, and then rehab, it became obvious to me that I needed to step in and help my mother. Them being in Florida and me up in Chicago, I became very overwhelmed with ...

Debbi Compton

If you’re reading this review, you already are a step ahead - you understand the value of a patient advocate in today’s complex and often overwhelming healthcare system. If you’re like I was, I knew I needed help. My dad...

Lisa Daily

Lori continues to support my husband Steve, on his healthcare journey. She recommended a second opinion when he did not respond to the recommended treatment. She offers to attend appointments virtually when needed.

Mike Robson

After multiple weeks with Laurie we were more than pleased. You're guidance is much appreciated

Gary and Elizabeth Wholeben

My brother spent three days in the hospital, followed by rehabilitation for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy. Sometimes, obtaining answers from the hospital and rehabilitation staff was challenging. We were eager to find out what options were available after rehabilitation. We learned from a friend about Lori delivering a speech emphasizing the need for an advocate. We reached out to her for further details. Lori took the time to listen to our concerns and provided expert advice. What impress me the most was the transparency and honesty displayed throughout the process. It was important to me to take an active interest in the process, and Lori was excellent in bringing us together as a team. Her assistance throughout the process was excellent, and I was very satisfied. 


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Stepping Stone is Here to Help

Stepping forward to provide ADVOCACY SERVICES for patients and their families, to assist in navigating the complex maze of our current medical system.

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