Bastyr University Continues Tradition with Annual Founders’ Awards Dinner

Portraits of the mission

Seattle, Washington – Bastyr University will continue the tradition of honoring alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends who have distinguished themselves through outstanding professional and personal achievement as well as loyal service to the University and the field of natural health science with its 2016 Founders’ Awards Fundraising Dinner. The 2016 Mission and Founders’ Awards Dinner will be held on the evening of Saturday, November 5 at the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum in Seattle, Washington. The award winners have been selected from nominations submitted by the Bastyr community. The following are the 2016 recipients:



Bastyr's most prestigious honor, the Mission Award is given annually to the individual, family, corporation, or foundation who has demonstrated leadership over time in improving the health and well-being of the human community. Penny Simkin, PT, founder of the modern doula movement and namesake of the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University, has devoted nearly 50 years to advancing knowledge, scholarship, and leadership in maternal child health. The steady thread in Penny’s extensive professional work has been to advocate for improving childbearing families’ experience in the provision of maternity care, helping to prepare an estimated 14,000 women, couples, and siblings for childbirth. A celebrated author, Penny has written numerous articles and books for both parents and professionals, most notably her book The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions.

In addition to acting as senior faculty at the Simkin Center, Penny maintains a busy practice consisting of childbirth education and birth counseling, combined with a busy schedule of conferences and workshops. She travels internationally, presenting in Taiwan, Australia, Israel, Austria, Hungary, Mexico, Canada, China, Finland, Argentina, and Russia.



Les Griffith, ND, Student Award - Griffin McMath, ND Candidate (’17)

A fourth-year naturopathic medical student at Bastyr University California, Griffin McMath has proven to be highly dedicated to naturopathic medicine and Bastyr University. A strong advocate for naturopathic medicine, Griffin has collaborated with Bastyr’s Center for Health Policy and Leadership since her first year at Bastyr. Working with Center leadership, she established a workshop for students, “Getting a Yes: How to Effectively Communicate with Legislators and Key Decision-Makers.” After the success of this workshop, she continued collaborating with the Center and eventually was invited to join the Board of Directors of California Naturopathic Doctors Association. Her clinical service in Nicaragua through Natural Doctors International further stoked her desire to serve the USA and beyond, and she has been working with Center for Health Policy and Leadership on policy research in both the domestic and international arenas. Griffin's passion for health policy took her to Sacramento, CA; Washington, D.C.; and eventually to Geneva for the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly as the very first naturopathic medical student delegate in attendance. 


William A. Mitchell, Jr, ND, Service Merit Award - Raul Martinez, MHA

This award given annually in Dr. Mitchell’s name recognizes outstanding service and dedication to Bastyr University. As the first clinic staff hired at Bastyr University California, Raul Martinez has been instrumental in the growth and success of clinic operations. In his position as Clinic Program Supervisor and Preceptorship Coordinator, Raul’s responsibilities have grown exponentially, from initially coordinating a staff of four doctors and the scheduling of three exam rooms to now overseeing an operation of over twenty-two doctors, five patient services representatives, the scheduling of sixteen exam rooms, an IV therapy suite, a hydrotherapy suite, and two external clinic sites. Raul has played a crucial role in every step of the Clinic’s growth. Raul consistently gives back to the Bastyr community, serving as the advisor to the Bastyr University California Spanish Club, providing students with opportunities to learn medical Spanish in a fun and non-intimidating environment. In addition, he is actively involved in Bastyr’s Center for Health Policy and Leadership. 


Joe Pizzorno, Jr, ND, Alumnus/a Award - Tara Mudaliar, MS, Midwifery ('15)

This award given annually in Dr. Pizzorno's name is granted to an alumna/alumnus from any academic program who has achieved distinction in her/his field of study and has rendered exceptional service to Bastyr, improving the entire Bastyr community and advancing the University's objectives and ideals. Tara Mudaliar, founded and currently directs a first-of-its-kind health clinic in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, The Rainier Valley Community Clinic. Sponsored by South Seattle Women’s Health Foundation, Tara established this clinic in response to the Seattle Metro community’s high rates of preterm birth and adverse health outcomes. The clinic is a result of an innovative model of care she created for her Midwifery Senior Project: “Midwifery-led, Community-based, Collaborative Care Model”, and is dedicated to creating spaces for high quality, individualized perinatal care and family medicine within the community, as well as creating jobs in the healthcare industry for local women, especially those of color and immigrants.


Sheila Quinn Service to Society Award - Cynthia Lair, CHN

This award given annually in Sheila Quinn’s name recognizes a staff or faculty member who has provided outstanding leadership in volunteer service and civic engagement to their community and neighbors. Nominees are not limited to Bastyr alumni, students, faculty, or staff and can include members of the greater Bastyr community. As core faculty in Bastyr University’s Nutrition and Exercise Science department and accomplished author, Cynthia Lair has made a 23-plus year commitment to advocating for transforming the health of the human community through nourishing, whole foods. She believes that becoming conscious of where one’s food originates is a primary step toward deeper awareness of self, other beings, and our environment. Her whole foods nutrition philosophy and principles form the basis for the entire Bastyr Nutrition Department, and her conviction to this philosophy has helped establish it as one of the premier nutrition programs in the United States.




In the Media

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September 8Natural Benefits of Eucalyptus:

Jenn Dazey, ND discusses the natural benefits of eucalyptus on page 24 of the April 2020 edition of Prevention Magazine.

Pacific County Program Manager

March 5Health Department Expands Services, brings new People Aboard:

Stephanie Michael, a registered dietician nutritionist, was hired as the county’s Health Services Program manager, and is on the front lines of the COVID-19 response in Pacific County

February 27Seattle Based Organization Expands Awareness About Naturopathic Medicine: Welcomes Dr. Joe Pizzorno To Board Of Directors:

The Institute of Natural Medicine announces that Dr. Joe Pizzorno has joined their Board of Directors