About Us

Guiding Patients Through Healthcare Complexity:
Our Services & Market Research Impact

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what we do

Pillar Patient Advocates

Pillar Patient Advocates, a private patient advocacy firm, is dedicated to guiding patients through the complexities of the healthcare system, empowering them to make well-informed choices along their journey. As Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPs), we assist patients in understanding their diagnosis, scheduling appointments, resolving insurance issues, and providing ongoing support.

Thanks to our strong patient relationships, market research firms seek our assistance in inviting patients to participate in paid health-related studies, benefiting both our patients and our business. Participants receive compensation for their time and have the chance to share their stories and opinions directly with healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. These studies primarily focus on understanding patient needs and lifestyles, helping us provide better treatment options. At Pillar Patient Advocates, our unwavering commitment to patient care and healthcare advancement remains central to our mission.

meet the team

Who We Are

BA, BCPA – Board Certified Patient Advocate, Oncology Patient Navigator Certificate from George Washington University, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Linda Pelligra is the founder and CEO of Pillar Patient Advocates. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Kean University, where she proudly served as the President of the Delta Sigma Pi sorority. After holding different sales and marketing roles within the pharmaceutical industry, she was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Melanoma Research Foundation and was the first to be named the Executive Director. Leveraging her experience and education, she went on to work with the Rutgers University Child’s Health Institute of New Jersey.

Upon realizing the importance of patient advocacy within the healthcare industry, she knew she could use her experience and background to help and thus she created Pillar Patient Advocates. As the CEO, she oversees all aspects of the company, and is particularly passionate about our advocacy services. As a Board-Certified Patient Advocate, she is qualified and prepared to help patients navigate the healthcare system. From a conversation about a new diagnosis, to accompanying patients on their next doctors’ appointment, Linda makes people feel confident about their interactions within the healthcare system. Linda leads and supports the Pillar staff by encouraging them to enroll in continuing education opportunities and participate in events that benefit our local community.

Linda leads a full social life that includes her family, friends, and her connections with like-minded leaders from local organizations that share similar goals. She is passionate about supporting our veterans and vulnerable communities and demonstrates her dedication by being active in the New Brunswick Elks and supporting the Town Clock Community Development Corporation’s mission of providing support to victims of domestic violence. In her leisure time, she will likely be on a boat or jet ski, entertaining her family and friends, enjoying competitive game nights, playing tennis, gardening or just enjoying a peaceful day at home.

Linda’s insatiable desire to support others has been key in making Pillar Patient Advocates the established entity it is today. Her willingness to help others and her optimistic outlook is something that helps set us apart from other firms. Linda is the backbone of this company and is a cornerstone of the community.

BA, MS, BCPA – Board Certified Patient Advocate, Oncology Patient Navigator Certificate from George Washington University, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Erin was the first staff member hired at Pillar Patient Advocates. Since then, she has been instrumental in the formation and growth of the firm. In her current position as Senior Director of Client & Patient Services, Erin most often interfaces with our clients, oversees the project teams for market research and assists patients in need of advocacy services. She is otherwise focusing operational efficiencies and corporate requirements. At Rutgers University, she achieved a bachelor’s in communications, graduating with honors as a member of the Lamda Pi Eta Chapter of the National Communication Honor Society. From there, she went on to attain a master’s degree in Clinical Practice Management from Texas Tech University. She is also one of Pillar’s Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA) and is ready to help any patient navigate the next steps of their healthcare journey. Always eager to learn, Erin also holds certificates as a Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention and Oncology Patient Navigation from GW University. For Erin, the best part of working at Pillar is knowing that we are helping patients by giving them an outlet to share their story and supporting them both emotionally and financially.

Erin’s favorite place to be outside of the office is near the water. Whether it be enjoying live music outdoors on the beach, or offshore on her boat, she enjoys the comforts of warm weather and waves. You may spot her companion, Bailey the golden-doodle, soaking up the sun with her. Although Erin has traveled to many places in the US and Europe, her favorite place to spend time is around her family. While with her favorite people, she likes to take first place in very competitive board games and card games.

Erin’s dedication reflects the compassionate spirit that defines Pillar Patient Advocates’ mission.

Oncology Patient Navigator Certificate from George Washington University, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Michelle is a Project Management Administrator who is especially skilled in the technologies we use to communicate with patients and clients. She studied Business Administration with a minor in Human Resources, and used those skills to master Excel, Access, and Sales Force. If patients need assistance dealing with technology for virtual interviews, Michelle is most likely the one to help them find a solution. In addition to handling the administrative end of recruiting for market research studies, Michelle supports the undertaking of special projects at Pillar, enabling the staff to function as efficiently as possible. She completed the Oncology Navigation Certificate course from George Washington University, with the goal of helping our patients in mind. She believes the best part about being on the Pillar team is the connection to our patients. She feels their resilience and dedication to making a difference in the healthcare industry is something that Michelle thinks everyone should be inspired by.

Some of Michelle’s most cherished memories of growing up include going to the pet store owned by her parents. It was there that she decided her favorite animal to be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. During the summer, Michelle can be spotted at the beach or at a tiki bar enjoying happy hour. During her downtime, Michelle enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Michelle’s expertise and dedication have helped Pillar Patient Advocates turn our ideas into reality.

BS, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Christine is Associate Project Manager at Pillar. When she first joined Pillar Patient Advocates, she was Patient Liaison and was responsible for qualifying patients for healthcare market research studies. She was promoted after excelling at that position and is now managing multiple studies for a variety of health conditions, oversees Patient Liaisons and interfaces with clients. Graduating Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a minor in Psychology, she brings a unique skill set and empathetic approach to her responsibilities in this role. Her favorite part about working at Pillar is being able to connect with patients and their loved ones and learn more about their journeys. In addition, she is proud to be a part of our supportive team and uplifting environment.

Outside of work, you’ll be able to find Christine enjoying a sunny day relaxing on a boat with her friends. If she is not on the water, she may be at Walt Disney World, as it is one of her favorite places. Before working with Pillar, Christine accepted the magical opportunity to be a cast member in Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. She continues to be inspired by the fond memories and professional experience that she gained during her time there. Her volunteer work at Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics is a testament to her dedication and participation, as is a “fun fact” that Christine achieved perfect attendance for seven consecutive years while in grade school. Her favorite classes were art and math. The unique combination of blending math sequencing with the creativity of art lessons may explain her fondness for engaging games like Connect 4 and Battleship.

Christine’s compassion makes her an indispensable part of our team at Pillar Patient Advocates.

BA, MA, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Jordan is transitioning to her new role of Associate Project Manager after being promoted from Patient Liaison. She works to be sure our studies are full of engaging participants through conversation with patients to determine if they meet the requirements, oversees her team’s Patient Liaisons and manages the studies of her project team. These duties require a level of empathy and attention to detail that Jordan has mastered. Jordan has completed an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts, a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, and a Master’s Degree in Education, and landed on the Dean’s List at Rowan University. Throughout her life, she enjoyed being a part of the local swim team and continued on to swim for Rowan University. It was there that she was also in the Outstanding Women in Leadership program. Her favorite part about working at Pillar is the community and support system that she feels her colleagues provide.

Being a competitive swimmer and children’s swim coach throughout the years, she continues to show off her competitive spirit through her love of trivia and playing board games. On a sunny day, you can find her playing soccer or going to watch a match. Backpacking through Europe for a summer, Jordan learned that her favorite destination was Interlaken, Switzerland. Known for her love of breakfast food, she proudly boasts that she makes pancakes exclusively from scratch. One of her favorite rainy-day memories was being at a Taylor Swift concert during a storm.

Jordan’s solution-oriented mindset helps Pillar Patient Advocates’ find the best outcomes for our patients and clients.

Katie is a Patient Liaison who invites patients to study opportunities, qualifies them through screening questions, and gets them scheduled for their interviews. This is an integral part of Pillar’s recruitment process. Katie works on multiple studies at a time, spanning different diseases and chronic illnesses. After a screening call, she will organize the patient’s responses and ensure that their data and identity remain protected. Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Communications at The College of New Jersey. While at TCNJ, she also volunteered for the Animal Benefits Club for which she was Social Media Chair. Katie’s favorite part about Pillar Patient Advocates is the ability to give patients and caregivers a way to share their experience.

Outside of work, you can find Katie hanging out with her roommate – he has four paws, a tail, and is named Fat Mike the Cat. She enjoys being outside on a nice day but won’t let a bit of cold weather stop her from enjoying a cup of coffee on the balcony. While indoors, she likes to draw, crochet and listen to Jim Croce songs. Her favorite travel destination so far has been Boston, and she is eager to explore more of the world.

Katie’s ability to build an immediate rapport with patients and caregivers, along with her attention to detail, helps every project move along course, and ensures that every patient feels informed and confident when they join one of Pillar Patient Advocates’ projects.


In her role as a Patient Liaison, Breda engages with patients and caregivers about new market research opportunities. She is familiar with many conditions and takes pride in cultivating an inclusive community, often inviting patients to introduce a loved one or friend into our network. Breda also assists on special projects related to the management of studies. She has achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics from Rutgers University, complemented by a Master’s Degree in Speech Language and Hearing Science from Temple University. While studying these topics, she especially enjoyed American Sign Language classes. Breda has excellent technical skills, including proficient use of Electronic Medical Records systems. Her favorite part about working at Pillar is being surrounded by great people.

One of Breda’s goals is to visit every continent and as many countries as possible, with her current favorite being Costa Rica. That’s where you’ll find her favorite animal, a dolphin, swimming past the shores. She loves a day at the beach, but isn’t afraid to bundle up and snowboard down the slopes or sleep in an igloo in Sweden.

Breda’s exceptional communication skills resonate well with our patients, embodying the patient-focused values of Pillar Patient Advocates.

AA, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Lindsay manages and maintains our social media platforms, fostering a strong connection with our patient community and ensuring they stay informed about various health and healthcare system-related news. Previously serving as an Associate Project Manager, Lindsay managed studies and had direct contact with patients. She is still connecting with our patients who will hear more from her as she broadens our reach for activities on social media. With an associate degree in business administration, Lindsay’s previous work specialized in reviewing insurance bills which allows her to be a resource for our patients needing advocacy services related to medical bills. The most rewarding aspect of her work at Pillar is witnessing the positive impact the firm has on patients’ lives, while having the privilege of working with a woman-lead staff.

In addition to all the great things she does for Pillar, Lindsay is also a real estate agent for New Jersey neighborhoods. After her professional commitments are done, Lindsay unwinds by taking a stroll with her two beloved Pitbulls, frequenting her local beach, and expressing her creative side through knitting and resin art. Bali, Indonesia, holds a special place in Lindsay’s heart as she fulfills her cravings for spicy and flavorful cuisine while simultaneously immersing herself in the area’s natural beauty and historic culture.

Lindsay’s creativity has been the cornerstone of our online presence and helps Pillar Patient Advocates spread knowledge and connect with new patients.

BS, Breast Cancer Patient Navigation Course from Susan G. Komen, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

Johanna is the Marketing Coordinator for our team. She graduated from Kean University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing. She uses the combination of these studies every day in her role at Pillar Patient Advocates to establish and maintain relationships with patient or disease focused organizations and support groups. This keeps us informed and involved with the communities that we serve. Her favorite part about working at Pillar is the collaborative and supportive environment that the staff has created.

In her personal time, Johanna spends most of her time with her family and their pets. She has three siblings, and together they enjoy cooking elaborate dinners, going to the movie theater, and taking road trips. Some of her favorite memories are from when she drove coast-to coast across The United States and stopped at 13 National Parks along the way. She loves all animals but is a self-proclaimed “cat person”. At home, she has two dogs and three cats. Over the years, Johanna has rescued, fostered, and found homes for over 30 kittens that were born in the wild. If she’s not busy saving animals, you might be able to find her volunteering for Meals On Wheels, painting pottery or reading a book with an iced mocha latte at the Barnes and Noble café. A perpetual goal that she is earnestly pursuing is becoming a better writer.

Johanna’s commitment to cultivating connections has helped Pillar Patient Advocates expand our network and presence.

BS, Oncology Patient Navigator Certificate from George Washington University, QPR Institute Gatekeeper for Suicide Prevention Certificate

As Pillar’s Bookkeeper, Suzanne is responsible for organizing and issuing incentive payments, making sure they are mailed to the proper address, and helping respondents with important forms such as their W-9 and 1099 documents. Her academic journey led her to achieve a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Health Science, complemented by noteworthy certifications in Mental Health First Aid, and Oncology Patient Navigator Training from George Washington University. Suzanne is a passionate mental health advocate and earned a certificate in the “Question-Persuade-Refer” suicide prevention technique from the QPR Institute. She is so dedicated to the cause that she inspired each employee at Pillar to attain the same certification. Thanks to Suzanne, the entire team is now certified in the QPR technique. Her favorite part about working at Pillar is proudly supporting our company’s mission, and the great people that she is honored to work with.

Throughout her university years, Suzanne immersed herself in a diverse spectrum of extracurricular pursuits, showcasing a remarkable commitment to both her academic and social development. She joined the Equestrian Team, the Tennis Team, the Psychology Club, and the Educational Career Opportunities in Science Club, and was active in her sorority chapter, Alpha Phi Omega. This multifaceted participation set the stage for the versatility she later applied as a homeschooling parent, seamlessly blending her educational roots with a rich tapestry of extracurricular experiences. You may be able to find Suzanne stargazing under a full moon or operating her espresso machine to make the perfect cappuccino at home.

Suzanne’s outstanding set of skills has contributed immense value to Pillar Patient Advocates.

Letter from the President

Welcome to Pillar Patient Advocates, where professional expertise meets compassionate care. Our dedicated team is on a mission to assist patients from all walks of life, guiding them through the complexities of the healthcare system with unwavering support and understanding. Whether facing a chronic condition or a sudden health challenge, we are here to be your ally, providing comprehensive assistance tailored to your unique needs. At Pillar Patient Advocates, we believe that every patient’s voice matters. As Board Certified Patient Advocates, we prioritize your well-being and ensure you receive the highest level of care.

Our commitment to making a difference goes beyond individual patients – it extends to the entire healthcare community. Thanks to our strong relationships with leading market research firms, we offer patients the opportunity to participate in paid health-related studies. By sharing your experiences and insights, you contribute to shaping the future of healthcare and pharmaceutical advancements, not just for yourself but for all patients. These research studies play a pivotal role in understanding patient needs and lifestyle preferences, leading to the development of better treatment options for diverse medical conditions.

At Pillar Patient Advocates, we are more than just advocates; we are a team of compassionate individuals dedicated to making a lasting impact in the lives of patients. Together, let us pave the way for a healthier future and empower patients to take charge of their well-being with confidence and strength. Your journey to comprehensive healthcare begins here, and we stand ready to support you every step of the way.

Warm Regards,

Linda Pelligra

Thank you for this opportunity! Looks like this product is promising and to my Mom and I, it’s all about having hope! It was truly a great experience today. Please keep me in mind for others! Thanks again!

Small Cell Lung Cancer Caregiver, 2022

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