Empowering Access to Healthcare

From MS Diagnosis to Advocacy, Dawn Sexton Shares Her Journey of MS Advocacy and Empowering Work at TouroCOM Montana

July 02, 2024
Dawn Sexton at the National MS Society 2024 Public Policy Conference
Dawn Sexton at the National MS Society 2024 Public Policy Conference

Dawn Sexton, MSML, MBA, CMA, brings a wealth of experience and dedication to her role as Director of Clinical Education at TouroCOM Montana. Her journey, inspired by her battle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), has led her to advocate passionately for healthcare access and MS awareness in underserved communities.

Living in a rural area during her diagnosis presented challenges that shaped Dawn's advocacy path. Her journey began with navigating limited healthcare resources, including a critical care clinic without essential diagnostic equipment like an MRI machine. It wasn't until she traveled to Seattle, four hours from her home, that she received the comprehensive care needed for her MS symptoms.

"Despite some thinking it was overly ambitious, I pursued and completed two master's degrees during my MS diagnosis," Dawn reflects. "My drive came from a desire to make the most of my career, especially considering that less than half of individuals with MS are employed."

Dawn's career trajectory reflects her resilience and commitment to medical education. Starting as a medical assistant, she transitioned into teaching while pursuing her bachelor's degree in healthcare administration. At TouroCOM Montana, Dawn oversees training third- and fourth-year medical students during their rotations, focusing on building relationships with hospitals and critical access centers. She is pivotal in organizing educational events and preparing students for residency through initiatives like the "Maximizing Your Residency Potential" panel.

"Having personally experienced the challenges of accessing quality healthcare during my MS journey, I appreciate Touro's dedication to providing programs that benefit and promote service to underserved communities," Dawn highlights.

Beyond her role at TouroCOM, Dawn is deeply involved in MS advocacy. She serves as the district activist leader for Montana with the MS Society, advocating for research funding and healthcare reforms. Her efforts include annual visits to Washington, D.C., where she meets with congressional members to advance MS research and expand access to telehealth services.

Dawn's impact also extends locally, revitalizing an MS support group and coordinating the annual WALK MS in Great Falls, which engages the community and TouroCOM Montana students in raising awareness and funds for MS research.

Dawn Sexton exemplifies resilience and leadership as an advocate and educator, driving positive change in healthcare and MS advocacy at TouroCOM Montana and beyond.