Case Management

Nancy Ruffner, BCPA

Nancy Ruffner founded NAVIGATE NC in 2013, motivated by a passion for social justice and an opportunity to work with marginalized populations who may not have a strong voice. As Nancy assisted her own parents to navigate the challenges that came with aging and chronic conditions, she recognized the gaping needs within the healthcare system. NAVIGATE NC has emerged as a fast-growing agency that serves clients and their families throughout North Carolina. Nancy’s focus as Founder and CEO is to ensure a continued commitment to unwavering respect, advocacy and hands-on support for every patient. Nancy enjoys provoking thought and guiding folks to create and implement a plan of action. Her antennae are always up with respect to advocacy for your family, education and awareness, and the chance to provide real solutions.



Sarah Straniero, Director of Case Management

Sarah Straniero

As the Director of Case Management, Sarah supports all field operations in North Carolina, working directly on the front lines alongside our Case Managers to ensure that they have the resources they need to best serve patients and their families. Sarah also holds the responsibility for recruiting, hiring and onboarding new Case Managers. Sarah brings extensive experience in all facets of the home care field, including housing, legal issues, family dynamics, long-term care insurance, clinical documentation, and medical records. She enjoys helping our clients and their families achieve their goals, especially in the face of complex health challenges. She holds a degree in Social Work with an emphasis on Ethnicity and Gerontology. She is trained to assist patients with conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke and heart disease.


Rachel Vaughters

Rachel Vaughters, BCPA

Rachel brings to NAVIGATE NC, a genuine passion for helping clients and their families find solutions when their healthcare needs become complex and overwhelming. As a caregiver to her own family, Rachel is experienced in coordinating goal-oriented medical and financial plans, balanced with providing empathetic, patient-centered support. She specializes in helping individuals with chronic conditions who need compassionate, strong, collaborative communication between healthcare providers, insurance companies, caregivers, and their families. Rachel graduated with a B.S. from the University of Florida, is a Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA,) and Case Manager. She also holds the NC license for Life and Health Insurance, and Notary Public commission. 



Operations and Community

Stacy Edwards

Stacy directs the flow of case management behind the scenes at NAVIGATE NC, ensuring swift follow-through and the application of consistent quality standards. Stacy’s role as the Operations and Fulfillment Manager is to oversee the operational systems that empower NAVIGATE NC to respond quickly when our clients need us while leaving no small detail unmanaged. Stacy is always at the ready, providing the necessary support and resources for our personnel in the field. Stacy’s unruffled demeanor, systematic approach and thorough attention to detail allow us to deliver a high level of professional service to every client, especially when the need is immediate.



Joe Abelson

Joe focuses on innovation at NAVIGATE NC, working with the team to develop new services and improve performance in the areas of client engagement, family communications, and community outreach. Prior to joining NAVIGATE NC, Joe spent more than 40 years in senior positions in the technology industry, so he is especially interested in the application of technology to the health and well-being of seniors. Joe is an active member of the Alliance of Professional Patient Advocates (APHA) for which he chairs a study group focused on advocacy services for seniors. He also serves as a hospice volunteer, providing support to terminally ill patients.