At Bastyr's commencement on June 20, 2011, the University conferred an honorary Doctor of Natural Health Arts and Sciences degree upon Penny Simkin, PT, for her influential childbirth education and advocacy work promoting safe, appropriate maternal and infant care.
As senior instructor and the namesake of Bastyr University's Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations, Simkin has taught childbirth-education and labor-support practice since 1968, preparing more than 11,000 women and families for childbirth. Her vision for the Simkin Center is to continue providing vocational training for those interested in promoting the emotional and physical health of pregnant women and families, from prenatal assistance to labor support and postpartum care.
"My whole professional life has been devoted to providing education, support and counseling for childbearing families," Simkin says. "My only higher passion is my own family."
Internationally renowned in the childbirth community, Simkin is a co-founder of Doulas of North America International and tirelessly travels the globe to present at conferences and teach her sought-after classes in childbirth preparation, doula training and lactation education.
An accomplished author, Simkin's books (including the newest edition of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide) are designed to help both families and maternity care professionals understand the needs of childbearing women. She is also a member of the editorial staff of the journal Birth and serves on several boards of consultants.
ABOUT THE SIMKIN CENTER
The Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University trains birth and postpartum doulas, and childbirth and lactation educators. The Simkin Center has educated and inspired leaders in the childbirth vocations since 1988.