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Dawn Johnston is the Employee of the Month of July

Hospital news | Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Dawn Johnston, lead clinic office assistant, jokes that she probably asks too many questions. But, her inquisitive nature, willingness to share what she’s learned, and the way she treats patients like family are part of her many qualities and part of the reasons she was recently named the Employee of the Month of July.

It’s been a little over 20 years since Dawn joined RiverView in the radiology department where she helped the radiologist and did early morning stress tests with Joan Morlan and Laurie Steer. From that position she moved to the clinic where she remains today. Over the years she’s floated between Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Urology, and Pediatrics. Today she works with Dr. Kari Wessman in her practice. Prior to RiverView, Dawn stated that she worked at Altru “with another great group of providers and nurses, including Drs. Ring, Olson, and Hanson, to name a few.’’

A small town girl from Middle River, Dawn and her husband Todd have been married for 36 years. The couple has two sons, Cole and Wade and a beautiful granddaughter named June. They will gain a daughter-in-law in October when June’s mom, Jessica, joins the family.

If you’re looking for a gift Dawn is sure to enjoy, get her power tools. Along with reading books - the real thing because she likes to turn the pages - she enjoys refurbishing furniture and really does get power tools as Christmas gifts. She also enjoys camping, the lakes, and bonfires.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to work with awesome staff and providers in all of the departments at RiverView,’’ she shared. “I have learned skills and gained knowledge from some of the best. It truly is an honor. Thank you for the nomination and award.’’

Below are portions of comments made in Dawn’s honor:

“…The minute Dawn gets to work in the morning, she demonstrates to all other employees around her a high level of competence. She is highly organized and dependable to help make her physician’s practice run well. I see her as a role model every day since I’ve started in the clinic. She would willingly come to the garage and help with COVID testing during a very difficult time. She offers her assistance to me every day when I need questions answered or to show me how to maneuver in orders and procedures…I lose count of the times she says, ‘I can help you’...I observed her one day taking a large amount of time to get a cancer patient’s referral expedited to Mayo. She went above and beyond with this because she wanted to make sure this patient got quick attention by their referral team. She treated this patient like it was her family. I felt emotional thinking, I hope I have her on my side if I ever need it. She goes about this quietly and never seeks out recognition. I am so privileged to work around and with her.’’

“Dawn has served as a lead role in our clinic for many years. She is a go-to source for guidance and willingly assists any of her co-workers. She takes responsibility and accountability for many functions that help the clinic run smoothly day to day. She is a wealth of knowledge and a HUGE asset to our team…Everyday she comes to work and gives her best to her patients as well as her team members. She is willing to jump in and help wherever it is needed and does so with a positive attitude.’’

“Dawn has gone to bat for our organization for years. She is flexible, hardworking, intelligent, and always helpful. She has the ability to rotate through many clinics and has excellent communication skills. She has put out more fires than I can even count.’’