Dawn Smith Walsh began her nursing career more than thirty years ago after obtaining her Associate in Applied Science degree from Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing in New York, New York. She started practicing in maternal-child health and school health in 1994. Once she completed her Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, Mrs. Smith Walsh thrived in managerial and leadership roles in various academic settings and inpatient units throughout New York and Maryland. Upon relocating to Florida, she began working for BayCare Health System as a mobile pool nurse. She excelled in nursing roles in labor and delivery, maternal education services, employee health, and inpatient psychiatry. Possessing a passion for teaching, Mrs. Smith Walsh also became an adjunct clinical nursing instructor at Hillsborough Community College and the University of Tampa, teaching labor and delivery and mental health, respectively.
Desiring a greater connection with patients, Dawn commenced advanced training at the University of Tampa (UT), obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nurse Practitioner – Adult-Gerontology. She obtained board certification in Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Within one month of graduating from UT, Dawn enrolled in the Post Master’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program at the University of Miami (UM). Despite the stressors of a pandemic, in December 2020, Mrs. Dawn Smith Walsh completed the rigorous course of study at the top of her class, earning the first Excellence in Academic & Clinical Performance Award since the program’s inception in 2016. She obtained board certification in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Simultaneously, while attending classes at UM, Mrs. Dawn Smith Walsh worked as a nurse practitioner for a health insurance company conducting health risks assessments. She credits this experience as an additional catalyst to her approach in combining primary care and psychiatric/behavioral health under one care model. Dawn has a uniquely refreshing and genuine approach when treating her patients. “Her warmth & kindness, ability to connect with others, and tremendous teaching ability truly help patients feel her compassion, authenticity, and care,” says Dr. Deborah Salani, Associate Professor of Clinical/Director of the Graduate Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Miami. In her own words, Dawn says, “I’ve had my fair share of loss, tragedy, and grief…but through that, I’ve come to realize and embrace the power of my own thoughts and voice. My goal is to help others find their voice, their passion, and their truth.” Instrumental to her start in psychiatric practice is Dr. Paul Clements, who offered Dawn an apprenticeship upon completion of her studies at UM. Soon after obtaining her psychiatric nurse practitioner certification, Dawn partnered with Dr. Clements at Belleair Behavioral Medicine. She also performed outpatient psychiatric consultancy at a community mental health clinic in Pinellas County, Florida. Mrs. Dawn Smith Walsh enjoys theatre, diverse music, and travel. Her favorite downtime activity is reading. She has three dogs, two sons, and is happily remarried.
Ms. Cano joins the Practice after obtaining several years of experience in the food and hospitality industry. Occupying various roles from Shift Lead to Account Manager, Mitzi’s passion for nutrition and health, along with a sincere desire to inspire others, is what paved the way to numerous leadership opportunities. She has occupied the role of Dietary Manager in a number of rehabilitation facilities.
Mitzi attained an Associate in Science degree and is a graduate of Hillsborough Community College. She successfully completed her educational training in Dietetic Technician, a program endorsed by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). She possesses a genuine enthusiasm to help others within her peer group, and the community at large. Mitzi believes knowledge is power, so, in her free time, she enjoys reading. Other pastimes include working out and spending time with family. Mitzi is bilingual and proficiently fluent in speaking, reading, and writing in English and Spanish.