About PALS Doulas
- The North West Association of Labor Support Providers is founded by Penny Simkin and Annie Kennedy following the first Seattle Midwifery School sponsored Labor Support Course as a means to create community and encourage dialogue.
- N.W.A.L.S.P. began providing referrals for doulas within the first year and publishing quarterly newsletters via Pennypress Inc.
- Renamed the Pacific Association of Labor Support
The Pacific Association of Labor Support (PALS Doulas) files for incorporation and develops bylaws, goals, and defines the 1st Doula Scope of Practice and Code of Ethics.
- PALS becomes an official not-for-profit corporation in the State of Washington.
- PALS doulas recognized as community health workers by Public Health - Seattle/King County, Island County and the statewide Maternity Support Services (MSS).
- To be listed in member directory, PALS certification introduced
- Contracts with other MSS providers follow.
- Founder and outgoing PALS president Annie Kennedy participates in the co-founding of DONA (Doulas of North America) as it's first president
Warmest Welcome Conference in Seattle, WA co-sponsored by PALS, DONA, NAPCS (National Association of Postpartum Care Services) and the Women's Studies Department at the University of Washington.
- Sister organization Northwest Association of Postpartum Support (NAPS Doulas) forms
- PALS completes a 3 year restructuring as a 501(c)6 trade organization supporting doulas after the application to form as a 501(c)3 is rejected.
- PALS sister organization, Pacific Foundation for Childbirth Support (PFCS), is formed and receives its 501(c)3 status. The mission of PFCS is to serve low-income birthing women through doula support. PFCS later renamed Open Arms Perinatal Services.
- PALS launches its first website.
PALS moves into its first office at El Centro de la Raza out of Penny Simkin's offices.
- PALS loses contracts with Medicaid funded agencies and together with PFCS (Open Arms Perinatal Services) is able to continue funding services through 2004.
- PFCS becomes Open Arms Perinatal Services and begins co-administering the Mentored Pathway Apprenticeship with PALS.
PALS changes its name to PALS Doulas and officially changes their logo. The First Annual Northwest Doula Conference takes place in Seattle. It is presented by PALS Doulas and NAPS Doulas.
PALS begins to recertify doulas
PALS launches an updated website to include on-line referrals via certified doulas’ profiles.
The membership votes to transition the board from a working board to a governing board and the office manager is promoted to Program Director. The lasts less than a year and PALS is faced with the decision to either restructure or close it's doors.
- Release of a statewide survey exploring scope of practice for Washington based doulas from all communities. Results from this survey lead to an expansion of the PALS Standards of Practice (see Guiding Documents above) an inclusion of community-based doula practices.
- Launch of dual certification program for those seeking certification with PALS who have already certified with another organization
- Co-hosts the 12th Annual Northwest Doula Conference
- Ongoing work with the DoulasForAll Washington Coalition to advocate reimbursement for doula services through the WA Health Care Authority and Department of Health.
- Participates in a Lobby Day effort in support of this initiative
- Expansion to accept all pathways of learning towards certification (classroom, virtual, ancestral/tribal, and community based programs)
- PALS Doulas launches a competency based certification program, reducing barriers to access and building wider pathways to certification
- Contracted PALS Certified Doulas are included in the Eastside Health Network in response to a Microsoft benefit reimbursing for certified doula services (birth and postpartum)