Transforming the Healthcare
Experience with Patient Advocacy

Our vision

At Advocate, we believe in empowering patients with clinical knowledge, compassionate care, and reliable advocacy. We stand by patients as they face medical challenges, offering unwavering support and personalized solutions.

Our mission is to help patients navigate the complexities of the current healthcare system, enabling them to make informed decisions that support their health and well-being.

Our story

Advocate LLC is a family business treating clients as family, utilizing the skills of each generation. We have personally seen the importance of patient advocacy as a voice for a family member with a cognitive disability and in helping another family member navigate a new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Seeing the difference advocacy can make in someone’s life is what inspired the development of Advocate LLC. Shannon Biergans is the founder and a family nurse practitioner. The team also includes Dr. Amy Blaising Wallace, Dr. Jane Gudakunast, Janice Sykes RN, Melissa Knippen RN, and Nathan and Kevin Biergans who provide technical and administrative support.




Lansing, MI


Patient Advocacy

Team Size

7 Advocates

Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Shannon Biergans, MS, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, BCPA

Shannon Biergans MS, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, BCPA has worked as a nurse and health educator for over 20 years and as a family nurse practitioner for over 14 years.  Her roles as a nurse and family nurse practitioner have been in the hospital and in the public/private/employee-based healthcare settings.  She teaches Healthy Lifestyles at Lansing Community College and has also taught at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Her varied experiences in healthcare have shown her firsthand how important it is for patients to understand their healthcare choices and help give them a voice.  The support her faith and family provide her is what she desires to share with every patient she is fortunate enough to meet.

Our Team

Amy Blaising Wallace D.O. is proud to have worked as a family medicine physician for 25 years. Dr. Wallace values making strong connections with patients and their families.  Her favorite aspects of primary care include preventive care,  health education and the emotional support she can offer patients and families.  Her goal is to help patients access the right care for their own individual situation. 

  • Medical Director for Memorial Healthcare
  • Medical Director for population health for Sparrow Healthcare
  • Instructor at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Peer Reviewer

Amy Blaising Wallace, DO, BCPA

Patient Advocate

Melissa has been a registered nurse for over 24 years with experience in critical care, preop, same day surgery, PACU, and endoscopy. Her time in healthcare has revealed to her that many patients and families are unsure of how to navigate the healthcare system. She has a great passion for advocating and educating her patients, as well as their families, putting the power back in their hands during some of the most critical moments of their lives.

Melissa Knippen, RN

Patient Advocate

Janice Sykes is a seasoned registered nurse with a rich tapestry of experience spanning pediatric psychiatry, traumatic and acquired brain injury care, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and anxiety disorder management. Launching her nursing journey in a pediatric psychiatry residential treatment center, Jan's dedication led her to provide both comprehensive nursing care and meticulous case management to those in need.

  • Ran a home health business for 17 years
  • 20 years of experience as a case manager

Janice Sykes, RN

Patient Advocate

Jane's professional experience as a board-certified family physician spans 35 years in various roles including private practice, academic medicine and teaching, and college health. Prior to becoming a physician, she worked as a registered nurse in the ICU. Jane has been an advocate for family members, patients, and friends as they negotiated various health challenges

  • Patient advocate experience in a wide array of areas, including transition to palliative and hospice settings, nursing home care, cancer diagnosis and treatment, dementia, addiction, pre and post-surgical care, mental health issues, extended hospitalizations, and preventive care.

Jane Gudakunst, BSN, MD

Patient Advocate

As a student at the University of Notre Dame, Nathan Biergans combines his academic pursuits with his diverse work experiences. Following his graduation in May, Nathan will continue his education at the University of Notre Dame in the ESTEEM master's program.

  • Interned at MapHabit, a health technology startup where he expanded his expertise in financial reporting and operational management, as well as contributing significantly to project outcomes
  •  Served as a University of Notre Dame Student Health and Fitness Commissioner
  • Co-founded a National Alzheimer's Buddies chapter at Notre Dame

Nathan Biergans


Kevin Biergans is a passionate and driven college student with a deep commitment to promoting health and wellness. He is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Physiology as well as a minor in Business, while actively engaging in various initiatives to advocate for a healthier lifestyle. Looking ahead, he is excited to grow his experience within the patient advocacy realm, and pursue his goals of helping others.

  • Interned at SET SEG where he specialized in Health Insurance & Sales

Kevin Biergans