As the Simkin Center at Bastyr University celebrates 30 years of making good on its mission to educate and inspire leaders in the birth professions, we are thrilled to welcome Alex Sosa, MS, as our new director. In the spring, founding director Annie Kennedy decided to pursue other opportunities after 25 years of leadership at the Simpkin Center.
Director Sosa brings more than 30 years of experience in both the public health and academic sectors to the Simkin Center. Her leadership at the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington — a statewide breastfeeding alliance of community health organizations, professionals and advocates to advance best practices in lactation care — has brought her into contact with many individuals in the naturopathic medical community. Prior to her coalition work, Sosa spent 11 years as a maternal-child health specialist, trainer and consultant at the South Los Angeles Health Projects-WIC Program. She also managed a hospital-based postpartum breastfeeding peer support project funded by First 5 LA in California.
Sosa’s experience in higher education student affairs leadership comes from positions she held in New York and California. She fondly remembers those formative years and reflects, “What I enjoyed the most was being part of a diverse community of learners and learning quite a bit about change, compassion and advocacy.” It was advocacy that brought Sosa to the field of maternal-child health, a shift influenced by her personal breastfeeding experience after the birth of her daughters, Camila and Isabella: “I believe in the amazing powers of human milk, and when support is provided in a compassionate and culturally responsive manner, it can be a powerful tool for change.”
Director Sosa believes that an equitable and culturally responsive community in the allied birth professions is one of the most important ways to ensure satisfying experiences and optimum health outcomes for all birthing families. Joining the Simkin Center team of Program Coordinator Kay Hwang and Program Assistant Rebeccah Landerholm, Director Sosa is excited by the new challenge: “I can’t wait to roll my sleeves up and support our community of learners and advocates. I’m looking forward to supporting and building new partnerships with community partners, individuals and organizations that are committed to working together to identify ways to develop an equitable community of providers and services to all families.”
Born in New York, N.Y., Sosa is grateful to have been raised in two communities: Puerto Rico and New York City. She currently lives in Redmond, Wash., with her husband Jose and her Yorkshire terrier, Leon.
Director Sosa’s door is always open. “Mi Casa es su Casa — My Home is your Home!!”
Alex’s credentials: BS in Public Administration, Russell Sage College (Troy, New York)
MS in Counseling Psychology, Mount St. Mary’s University, Los Angeles California