The most respected program of its type, Simkin Center is best known for its world-class faculty. Faculty members are the heart of Simkin's success and are the leaders of the modern doula movement.
Penny Simkin is the Center's namesake and senior faculty member. Penny revived the ancient art of providing continuous care in childbirth with her pioneering role in establishing the "birth doula." Penny is best known as an author, speaker, educator and key contributor to the understanding of the significance of childbirth in women's lives. Penny is often a guest lecturer in our program.
Penny Simkin, PT, CCE, CD(DONA), is a physical therapist, certified childbirth educator, internationally certified birth doula, DONA International birth doula trainer and DONA International Founder and Mentor. She is the author of many books and lectures internationally. Penny is Senior Instructor Emeritus at the Simkin Center and is also instructor of the When Survivors Give Birth workshop. Read more about Penny.
Phyllis Klaus, LMFT, LMSW, is a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist, and social worker. Formerly on the faculty of the Department of Family Practice, Michigan State University, she currently practices in Palo Alto, California, providing psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups. She has been working with the concerns of families in the perinatal period for the past 35 years, and has been involved in research and training of perinatal care providers since 1982. She is a founder of DONA International and PATTCh. She has extensive experience in treating trauma-related disorders, such as PTSD, dissociative disorders, and adult survivors of abuse. She is an EMDR Trainer and Approved Consultant. She also incorporates Hypnosis, EMDR, Ego-State Therapy along with other psychotherapies in the treatment of somatic and medical disorders, family of origin and attachment disorders, and complicated grief. She consults, does research, presents workshops nationally and internationally and is co author of several articles as well as The Doula Book; Bonding; Your Amazing Newborn; a video, The Amazing Talents of the Newborn; and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women.
Christine Muenz, MA, CCE, LEC, is a certified childbirth and lactation educator. Read more about Christine.
Felisha Floyd, BS, CLC, IBCLC is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant in private practice and a Lactation Program Coordinator for a Florida Health Care Authority Hospital. She is also an author, advocate, educator and consultant. Her many endeavors include as founder of a community based support group, Our Brown Baby, and as a consultant for Boston Medical College’s Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices Program. She is a founding mother and president of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color. Felisha is also a member of the Center for Social Inclusion First Food Equity Cohort. She is the founder of the Blactavist (Black Lactation Activist) online community dedicated to supporting breastfeeding among African American families with over 38,000 followers. Felisha also serves as the Education Director for Mom2Mom Global and serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Felisha’s most important role is serving as proud United States Air Force military spouse and mother to three breastfed children.
Michele Kolakowski brings more than two decades of diverse experience working with childbearing women and new families to the classroom and considers it a privilege to teach Pre-and Perinatal Massage Therapy with her mentor and professional “mom”, Carole Osborne.
Michele was program supervisor and lead BirthPlace massage therapist for Longmont United Hospital’s Health Center of Integrative Therapies. Michele is passionate and knowledgeable in maternity and infant massage. She lives in Longmont, Colorado with her family and loves high altitude gardening, hikes in the mountains, yoga, basketball (Go Tarheels!) and the joys of watching her boys become great young men.
Annette Cycon, MSW is a licensed social worker, is certified by Postpartum Support International and is founder and former Director of Training for a MA advocacy organization. Her work is featured in the documentary Dark Side of the Full Moon.
Liz Friedman, MFA is an educator and advocate certified by Postpartum Support International and is the PSI Coordinator for Western Massachusetts. She designed specialized trainings for perinatal professionals on mood disorders and mental health.
JoAnn Lewis, LMT, CEIM is a massage therapist, Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) and Trainer. She teaches internationally. Read more about JoAnn.
14500 Juanita Drive N.E.
Kenmore, WA 98028
M-F 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.Planning to drop by? Please phone ahead.
StaffAlex Sosa, DirectorKay Hwang, Program CoordinatorRebeccah Landerholm, Program Assistant
Subscribe to our email newsletter