Cynthia (Smith) Jackson ’79 came to Portland from Boulder, Colorado, graduating from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in Biology and Spanish Literature. She then went on to the University of Portland where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1982. In 2014, she received her Master of Public Health from University of Washington.
In 1983, she began work as a staff nurse in the newborn nursery and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Bess Kaiser Hospital. 1996 brought the closure of the hospital and a transfer to Providence St Vincent Medical Center, working in the NICU where she is currently is today.
While at Bess Kaiser, she developed a passion for supporting families in their breastfeeding journeys both in regards to term newborns as well as the vulnerable NICU population. She acquired her International Board Certification in Lactation (IBCLC) in 1995 and continues to support families providing breastfeeding support in the NICU. She provides ongoing training for NICU and lactation staff serving the NICU as well as serving on the NICU Nutrition Committee and participating in breastmilk/breastfeeding research.
She has been a volunteer for 7 years at NW Mother’s Milk Bank (NWMMB), a local nonprofit organization providing pasteurized human donor milk for hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. She is beginning her term currently as Chair of the Board of Directors for NWMMB. A collaborative research project was completed in 2020 between Providence and NWMMB. (Comparison of macronutrient loss from human milk based on tube feeding method in the NICU population.) She has also been involved for a decade with the Oregon Washington Lactation Association – an organization providing networking and education for professionals supporting breastfeeding families. Cindy has been Board President for the past 3 years.
Cindy is married to Robert Jackson, an electrical engineer and owner of NW Rail Electric. Both are board members for “Haiti ap Grandi”, a 501(c)3 organization providing agronomy/health support/training in southern Haiti. They have traveled yearly for the past 10 years supporting the Les Anglais community in southern Haiti.
They have 2 grown children Sarah (Steve) and Benjamin, and 2 dear grandchildren Nate and Sam. Cindy enjoys playing musical instruments (viola, handbells, voice) in the church setting as well as being outdoors any season of the year.