Dawn attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania majoring in psychology and minoring in biology. In 1984, she graduated as valedictorian of her class from Hahnemann University where she received a bachelor's degree from the Physician Assistant Program. She is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and maintains that certification with over 1,000 hours of continuing medical education and re-certification examinations. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants.
Early in her career, Dawn worked at a family medicine practice in Brookline, Pennsylvania, where she assessed acute medical problems and managed chronic illnesses.
Following this, she spent 13 years at D.T. Watson Rehabilitation Hospital. There, she assessed the medical and rehabilitation needs of the inpatients and transitional care unit residents; performed histories and physical examinations for adolescent, adult and geriatric patients; provided medical management of acute and chronic illnesses, and participated in physician rounds and interdisciplinary conferences.
Along with her clinical role, she also had a number of administrative responsibilities, including reviewing inpatient referrals for potential admission, participating in JCAHO and CARF surveys, representing medical staff at hospital operations and performance improvement meetings, instructing nursing in clinical assessment skills and participating in stroke clinical pathway, traumatic brain injury and process re-design teams.
In 1999, Dawn pursued her interest in the medical and legal fields and completed a course from the Medical Legal Consulting Institute. She joined the staff of Gismondi & Associates in May 2000 where she analyzes, interprets and organizes medical records for medical malpractice cases; researches medical topics and acts as a medical resource to the attorneys; and prepares cases for expert physician review.