I think Jeep Cares tries to resolve serious problems where a Jeep dealer has failed or refuses to help a customer, or a customer feels a Jeep dealer is not treating them fairly. Is Autonation a Jeep dealer? If so, Jeep Cares may be able to help. If Autonation is not a Jeep dealer or at least an FCA dealer (Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, or Fiat), then going to Jeep Cares is probably not going to help.
As for how serious the leaking head gasket is depends how how bad the leak is, but in any event it will not get better. That gasket keeps compression where it belongs, and keeps the oil and water apart. When any of those 3 get together or start getting into the outside world (like yours), it means trouble. Its only a matter of time before things get worse, and neglected repairs will do damage after awhile and be more expensive to fix. A head gasket is not something amateurs can do.
Your Patriot is new enough that its certainly worth the repair. If Autonation doesn't fix it right off, I'd just give up on them. No sense getting in fight with a skunk -- you may win, but its not worth it. I'd say take it to a bonafide Jeep dealer where you'll probably pay a little more but it will be fixed right. (After all, a franchised dealer wants you to buy a new Jeep from them someday).
So about Jeep Cares. You can find Jeep Cares by going to the toolbar at the top of this page and clicking on "tools." From the drop down menu choose "members". Its alphabetical so go to "J" and then you'll probably have to go 2 or 3 pages in to find Jeep Cares. Then just send a message from their page. I think that address is monitored by someone named Andrea, but recently I've seen other names there, too. Because I'm a nice guy, here's the link to Jeep Cares: Jeep Patriot Forums - View Profile: JeepCares
. I also have a Sister and I cringe when She goes to the repair shop. Fortunately there are good shops that take care of Her.