Latest Blogs

Below is a list of blogs written by ACPA members and the National Office Team.

If you are interested in writing a blog, please email Alyssa Kirkman for more information.

*Disclaimer-The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association claims no responsibility for the content published by others on its web site. Published content does not imply endorsement of the organization or the content of the meetings.

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As we celebrate ACPA’s 75 th Anniversary in 2018 , we are sharing members' ACPA experiences.  We are proud of the work our members have accomplished in support of our mission: to optimize outcomes for individuals with oral cleft and craniofacial conditions through education, support, research, advocacy, and interdisciplinary team care. Please join us in celebrating our anniversary by learning more about our members and the patients and families they serve. Today we are hearing from Pat Ricalde, MD, DDS, FACS. ACPA has been most important to me because of its neutrality and inclusion. When I began my practice as a cleft and craniofacial surgeon, I was not ...
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ACPA Members: How would you like to be more involved in ACPA in 2018 and 2019?  Please a take the August 2018 Engagement Survey to let us know if you'd like to work on the blog, participate in the ACPA Online Community, present a webinar, submit an article to the journal, work with ACPA Family Services or volunteer for a committee.  Take a minute to think about how much time you have to commit to ACPA before you respond.  Take the Survey. We will distribute another Engagement Survey in early 2019 with additional opportunities. All survey responses are due by September 1, 201
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The new issue of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal is now available. All ACPA Members receive a free subscription to The Journal - just log-in to your ACPA account to access the online version.   Not a member and want journal access?  Join now ($240 for 2018 National Active Membership) or purchase an individual subscription ($324 for print and e-access). Cone Beam Computed Tomographic Evaluation of Mandibular Asymmetry in Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate Maryam Paknahad, M.Sc., Shoaleh Shahidi, M.Sc., Shoaleh Shahidi, Ehsan Bahrampour, M.Sc., Amir Saied Beladi, M.Sc., Leila Khojastepour, M.Sc. Dental Arch Relationships and Reverse ...
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Parents need encouragement when navigating challenges concerning their child’s facial difference. Children often receive questions about their scars from peers, while parents seek answers. ACPA Publications “Letter to the Parent of a Child with Cleft Palate” and “Help with Social Situations” offer tips from subject matter experts. The letter to the parent reads comparable to a family story, as a mother shares her experience of raising two children with clefts. With decades of experience as the Nurse Coordinator for the University of Iowa Cleft and Craniofacial Team, Debbie provides support from both professional and family perspectives: My amazing children ...
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​ The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association is asking all families to share their stories, photos and art on the ACPA Family Services website . Shared experiences are one of the most impactful resources for the cleft community as they provide a sense of commonality and support, especially for parents in the initial stages of their journey. “When we found out Vivienne had a cleft, we were scared of what her future would hold. We encountered some negative medical professionals and insensitive people who told us the worst-case scenarios and predicted dire outcomes for Vivienne due to the size of her cleft and the fact she had a G-tube. There were ...
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Surgeon General Commissions Report on Oral Health The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of the Surgeon General, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Public Health Service’s Oral Health Coordinating Committee have announced the commission of a Surgeon General's Report on oral health. The purpose of this report will be to document progress in oral health since publication in 2000 of the first Surgeon General’s Report focusing on this topic, “Oral Health in America.” The new report will also describe key issues that currently affect oral health, identify challenges and opportunities that have emerged since ...
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Meet 2018 ACPA Scholarship Recipient Cameron Richard. From raising money through his student council to competing on American Idol, Richard spent a large portion of his high school career advocating for the cleft community. ACPA is proud to highlight Richard’s inspirational story, as well as his encouraging words of hope: Being born with a cleft palate has molded me into a person willing to fight for fellow cleft palate patients especially those that cannot financially support themselves. I am humbled and grateful for this scholarship because it is the only one out of the thirteen I received that reminds me of my beginnings and how far I have come since ...
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Kaitlyn and Frida hobbled to the finish line of the three-legged race as one. Two girls with Apert syndrome, never having met one another before that day, were joined as one in friendship and sport. July was Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month. In our second year of celebration, the CHOC Craniofacial Family Event has grown to welcome over 300 patients and family members. The grounds of the Santa Ana Zoo, lined with red and white streamers, again became playground for the day—filled with ring toss, face-painting, and the sounds of Disney favorites crooning in the background. The surgeons won the whipped cream eating contest, but the kids dominated over ...
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It has been so much fun sharing all of your awareness activities this month!  As a community, we have held Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Days , been featured on the news and received proclamations , hosted  picnics , featured patient stories and held WONDERkids workshops , presented Cranio Bootcamps and attended baseball games .  Today, we're excited to share another interview, this one with Dr. Michael Friel , ACPA Board Member and Surgical Director of the ACPA Approved Team at Ochsner's Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Program in New Orleans, LA. Friel discussed cleft lip and palate and how teams like the one at Ochsner can help. "The obstetricians ...
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On July 23, our team celebrated our 3 rd Annual Cleft & Craniofacial Awareness Day. This year, our theme was “Kindness Grows”.  Our  hospital atrium  was filled with brightly colored flower and smile  balloons. A fun filled day including educational materials related to craniofacial differences, streaming video of the many activities hosted by our team throughout the year, and display boards sharing the mission work  were included. An anti bullying reading list for families was also on display. We included an interactive craft making tissue paper flowers that children (and adults) enjoyed.   Featured this year, was a “Kindness Tree” where our visitors ...
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ACPA Member Lynn Fox, an associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, celebrated Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness month by sharing some of her favorite resources and articles for treating clients.  “After working in the profession for 28 years – when did THAT happen?! – evaluating and treating patients with craniofacial differences is second nature to me. So I sometimes forget that when these patients go home, the speech-language pathologists helping them might not know about the same strategies or resources I do,” Fox said. In her article featured by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Fox shared her experiences of receiving urgent phone calls ...
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ACPA Member Jesus Gil B. Inciong, leader of the ACPA Approved Team at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (CHKD) Craniofacial Center appeared on 13News now to talk about cleft and craniofacial awareness month.  "CHKD emphasizes the need for early intervention.  We have a multi-disciplinary team that is able to deal with different aspects of conditions that a child with a cleft may have...We want to meet the parents very early and introduce them to all of the members of the team. We have specialists who deal with lactation and speech therapy, occupational and physical therapists, and also we have social workers and child life specialists." View ...
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The UI Health Craniofacial Center in Chicago had its third annual picnic on Saturday, July 14, 2018 celebrating Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Awareness Month sponsored by The Face the Future Foundation (FFF).  Many of our Craniofacial Center Families came to enjoy the picnic even though it rained on and off.  The attractions included inflatable monster figures, water dunk activities, water balloon stations, and green screen photo station to dress up as your favorite hero.  There was also a face painting station which allowed children to get works of art on their faces including lions, butterflies, and dinosaur themes.  The children did not mind the rain as ...
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ACPA Member Kevin Calder, leader of the ACPA Approved Team at the SIU Congenital Head & Neck Anomalies Clinic , was featured in a video on WAND in Decatur, Illinois.  The story features the story of Gwendolyn, who was born with a cleft lip and palate.  Watch the story. The ACPA Approved Texas Cleft - Craniofacial Team held WONDERkids workshop earlier this month in honor of Cleft-Craniofacial Awareness month.  They invited patients between the ages of 8-13 yrs old for a few hours of mingling and fun. Many kids have never seen another child with a craniofacial difference and this event was a time for children to come together.  The workshop included ...
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Children’s Colorado Cl eft & Palate Team in Colorado Springs is hosting their 2 nd Annual Cleft/Craniofacial Picnic during Cleft/Craniofacial Awareness Month.  It will be held at the US Air Force’s Farish Recreation Area in Woodland Park, Colorado on Saturday 21 July.    Activities will include a BBQ, archery, canoeing, bounce house and the most popular event from last year – fishing. Clifford the CleftDog will be in attendance ( follow him on instagram ).   The Cleft Lip and Palate Program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia  is excited to hold their 3rd Annual Awareness Event.  Plans this year include a full day celebration on July 23 in the ...
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Local Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), graduate students, parents, and children gathered bright and early at the Memorial Regional Hospital’s New Garage Convention Center on Saturday, June 23 rd, 2018 for a day of networking and learning. In honor of National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month, the event was organized by the ACPA Approved Cleft and Craniofacial Program at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.  Speech Therapy Bootcamp was designed to simultaneously give professionals an opportunity to learn and apply their skills, parents to socialize, and for children to engage in play-based and individualized speech therapy sessions. ...
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The new issue of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal is now available. All ACPA Members receive a free subscription to The Journal - just log-in to your ACPA account to access the online version.   Not a member and want journal access?  Join now ($240 for 2018 National Active Membership) or purchase an individual subscription ($324 for print and e-access). Epigenetics and Orofacial Clefts: A Brief Introduction Gemma C. Sharp, Ph.D., Evie Stergiakouli, Ph.D., Jonathan Sandy, Ph.D., F.Med.Sci., Caroline Relton, Ph.D. Microarchitecture and Biomechanical Evaluation of BoneCeramic Grafted Alveolar Defects during Tooth Movement in Rat Nan Ru, ...
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The ACPA Approved Team at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is hosting an event to celebrate National Cleft Lip and Palate Awareness month. The inaugural NYP Cleft Lip and Palate Team Day is July 22, 2018. This is an event for children and families who have worked with the cleft and craniofacial center. The day include a unique opportunity to meet and interact with each other in a  body positive environment and a chance to interact with physicians in a rare non-clinical encounter.  The keynote speaker is ACPA Member Patricia Simon, the author of a children's book on cleft. Each family will receive a copy of one of her books and Patricia will be available ...
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The A.I. duPont Hospital for Children Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Team, an ACPA Approved Team in Wilmington Delaware, is working to spread cleft and craniofacial awareness this July.  The team received a proclamation from Governor John Carney and Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long declaring July 2018 to be Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month in Delaware.  The team is excited to be holding an event at the Blue Rocks baseball stadium on July 27 to celebrate.  Tickets to the event include a reserved seat, a dinner buffet, and fireworks after the game.  What is your team doing to spread awareness?  Email us and we'll share it on the blog or ...
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ACPA is excited to announce that July is Officially Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month! North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper awarded ACPA a proclamation for Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month. In addition, Mayor Pam Hemminger and the Chapel Hill Town Council proclaimed July as Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month. ACPA Executive Director Wendy-Jo Toyama accepted the proclamation from Council Member Nancy Oates. Thank you to the State of North Carolina and the Town of Chapel Hill supporting ACPA as we spread cleft and craniofacial awareness.  Remember to send us your news, events and proclamations for the month so we can share them on the ...
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