Interior Hero

Your nominations are requested for the 2023 Annual DONA International Founders’ Awards, named in honor of DONA International’s founders and honoring their life’s work and legacies, which will be presented at the 2023 Annual DONA International Conference.

The Penny Simkin Award

This Doula Spirit and Mentorship Award honors doulas who show extraordinary doula spirit through their outstanding efforts in promoting and caring for doulas and childbearing people in their communities. (Individual Doula Award)

The Phyllis Klaus Award

This DONA International Award honors doulas who make outstanding efforts to have a positive impact on parent-infant bonding. (Individual Doula Award)

The John Kennell and Marshall Klaus Award

With the goal of improving perinatal-child care, the DONA International Research Award recognizes excellence in conducting, organizing, analyzing, presenting or publishing research as it relates to the effects of doula care during birth and/or postpartum.  The recipient has shown a good understanding of what constitutes doula care and has contributed to the evidence-based body of studies, providing direction to doulas and perinatal health care providers. (Individual or Group Research Award)

The Annie Kennedy Award

This DONA International Award recognizes excellence in a doula group.  The recipient group has shown the unwavering vision necessary for a group of doulas to become and remain successful, to grow and to serve its membership. This group develops collegial relationships and works as a team to provide services within its community to benefit doulas and families.  This group has established a model that can be recreated successfully by other groups. (Doula Group Award)


  • DONA members may nominate doulas and researchers who exemplify the spirit of each award.
  • Nominees must be in good standing with DONA International.
  • The Founders’ Awards Committee reviews the nominations.
  • The Founders of DONA International are not involved with determining award recipients.
  • An award is granted only if an outstanding and deserving recipient is determined by the committee.
  • Recipients will be notified as soon as a decision has been determined.
  • All decisions of DONA International and the Founders’ Awards Committee are final.

You must complete and submit this form no later than September 15th, 2023.