Penny Simkin to Receive Honorary Degree from Bastyr University

Photograph of Penny Simkin

10,000 people. That is the size of some small towns or universities. In her career, one amazing woman has helped prepare that many women, couples and siblings for childbirth. For this and her numerous other achievements, Bastyr University will confer an honorary degree upon Penny Simkin, PT, at Bastyr University's spring commencement ceremony, which will take place at Benaroya Hall at 1 p.m. Monday, June 20, 2011. The principal speaker is James L. Donaldson III, former National Basketball Association All-Star and passionate advocate for natural health.

Simkin, senior instructor and the namesake for Bastyr University's Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations, is a physical therapist who has specialized in childbirth education and labor support since 1968. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Natural Health Arts and Sciences degree at commencement on June 20, 2011, to recognize her significant global contributions to childbirth education and humane care in childbirth.

"Penny Simkin's name is synonymous with the effort to improve women's experience of childbirth," said Annie Kennedy, director of the Simkin Center. "For Penny to be a member of the Bastyr University family is a tremendous honor, and it is only fitting that we return that honor by recognizing her at this year's graduation ceremony."

In addition to a nearly 50-year childbirth-education and labor-support practice, Simkin has authored many books and articles, including the new edition of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide. She also is co-founder of Doulas of North America International, and a member of the editorial staff of the journal Birth.