By Sharon Muza, BS, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, CLE
2017 Conference Eve
On the eve of the DONA International Virtual Conference – Cultivating Connections: It starts with us, I thought I might share 14 fun facts about this amazing organization and our upcoming conference. If you have not yet registered, it is not too late! With the 2017 conference being virtual, you have no need to leave your home and even if your schedule does not allow live viewing during the July 27-29 conference dates, you have through October 2017 to watch (or rewatch) all of the sessions.
14 Fun Facts
- DONA International was founded 25 years ago by Marshall Klaus, John H. Kennell, Phyllis Klaus, Annie Kennedy and Penny Simkin. Sadly, Dr. Kennell passed away a few years ago, and Dr. Klaus is retired, Annie, Phyllis, and Penny continue to provide support and guidance to our organization as we continue to grow.
2. DONA International has certified doulas in 56 countries around the globe and this number continues to increase, We are truly an international organization committed to growing the doula profession and improving birth and postpartum experiences for all families.
3. DONA International has certified over 12,000 birth and postpartum doulas since the organization was established. Our certifying committee continues to add to this number with new approvals completed every day. (Want to become a team member on the certification committee? Email Johanna D’Aleo, the Director of Certification.
4. In 2004, DONA International changed their name from Doulas of North America to the current DONA International to reflect our continued growth and international organization.
5. We have had 23 conferences in the 25 years since DONA was founded. That’s a pretty good track record if you ask me!
6. DONA International has held conferences in three countries over the years, Canada twice, Mexico one and in the USA, another 20 times.
7. This year’s conference is our third virtual conference. Offering this virtual option has so many benefits and makes the conference accessible to people all around the world. Technology helps us to connect and continue our learning.
8. The 2017 virtual conference has people from 10 different countries registered.
9. DONA International has co-hosted their conference twice with other perinatal organizations in the past 23 years. The first conference was hosted in Seattle with the Pacific Association of Labor Support and the National Association of Postpartum Care Services (no longer in existence). DONA held another joint conference, this time with Lamaze International, in 2014 in Kansas City, MO.
10. Attending a DONA International conference meets all the continuing education requirements necessary for a recertification cycle.
11. The entire conference is put together from beginning to end by a volunteer conference chair and a volunteer conference committee. I am so grateful for the massive amount of work that this awesome team does while led this year by Conference Chair Jessica Haines.
12. It is tradition, even for the virtual conferences, to close out the conference with a massive group sing of Dona Nobis Pacem. This is always a very moving experience.
13. This year’s virtual conference is the first one that will be closed-captioned for the hearing impaired community and others who can utilize and appreciate this option.
14. This year, there is a session that is being held entirely in Spanish. Our previous conference in Cancun, Mexico was simulcast in Spanish, but in 2017, Lorenza Holt will be offering “Spinning Babies for Doulas” entirely in Spanish.
DONA is the Gold Standard
DONA International continues to be the leader in birth and postpartum doula training and continuing education offerings. The 2017 Virtual Conference – “Cultivating Connections: It starts with us” is yet another example of our sustained efforts to grow and nurture birth and postpartum professionals on their journey. When our doulas thrive, so do families. Join us today. Find out more information on DONA including how to become a doula or join the conference on the DONA International website.