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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Phoenix, ACPA’s 2018 Scholarship Recipient, was born with cleft lip and palate. As her high school years ended and graduation approached, Phoenix set out to find a career that balanced both her passions and skills. Since the age of three, Phoenix has trained in classical ballet and explored other dance styles such as contemporary and jazz. When she began searching for career options that best suited her interests, she realized that as much as she loved ballet, it wasn’t a career she wanted to pursue. After listening to an inspiring Ted Talk about finding the “work you love,” Phoenix was drawn to occupational therapy because of the many options she could ...
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ACPA Member Dianne Altuna MS, CCC-SLP has been a champion of team care for as long she can remember. From the beginning of her career, when she worked with her father as an orthodontic assistant, she witnessed the lasting effects that team care had on people with cleft and craniofacial conditions and set out to follow in her father’s footsteps. Today, her financial support helps ACPA inspire the same passion in students. Like her father, James F. Mulick, DDS, MS, Dianne joined ACPA early on in her career. For Dianne, ACPA’s Annual Meeting was the perfect place to gain knowledge and connect with people she admired; meeting the people whose work she cited in ...
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Start planning your summer schedule with these ACPA Online Learning webinars! Managing Cleft Care in the Middle East: Avoiding Missteps and Misconceptions June 7, 2019 6:00 PM ET Clinical Audit for Psychosocial Outcome: Strategies for Identifying Families at Risk July 17, 2019 6:00 PM ET Demystifying Cleft Palate Speech: A Primer for the new SLP and Non-SLP members of the craniofacial team July 3, 2019 6:00 PM ET Hemifacial Microsomia: An Interdisciplinary Integrated Approach to Care August 15, 2019 2:00 PM Previous webinars are available on-demand and can be watched at any time.  View ACPA’s catalog of courses to view pricing ...
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From membership to teams and everything in between, there are many parts of the ACPA community and many reasons to participate. One of the reasons professionals at the Duke Cleft and Craniofacial Center are part of ACPA is simple; they love brightening their patient’s day with ACPA Cleft Courage Bears. “Now I constantly see these kids with bears and they absolutely love them, and I just want to say thank you very much to ACPA for sending them to us to give to each of our kids,” said Barron Suarez, MS, CCC-SLP. Although there are so many reasons to be involved in the ACPA community, we all share one main goal: to help people with cleft and craniofacial ...
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We are excited to share photos from ACPA’s 76 th Annual Meeting on the ACPA Facebook page . Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting and contributed to such a successful week. We hope to see you all in Portland in 202
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For many expecting parents, receiving news of a cleft or craniofacial difference is not easy; but often, hearing stories from other parents who have been through similar experiences provides hope. As Mother’s Day approaches, we’re highlighting a letter from Debbie , the mother of two children born with clefts. In Debbie’s letter, she recalls moments when she felt alone, but she also shares helpful resources that helped her see the light at the end of the tunnel. For Debbie, her cleft team, community, and the decision she made to embrace every moment made all the difference along the way. She encourages parents to take pictures through every stage because ...
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In this podcast, Pat Chibbaro interviews Victor Chang and Dr. Parit A. Patel about their article, "Predicting the Ideal Patient for Ambulatory Cleft Lip Repair " published in volume 56 issue 3 of  The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal . This study better defines the patient population appropriate for ambulatory cleft repair with uplift modeling, a predictive analytics technique. In conclusion, uplift modeling predicts that approximately 40% of patients would benefit from an ASC cleft lip repair. Targeting patients younger than 1 year old, nonsyndromic, with no respiratory or neurologic diagnosis for ASC cleft lip repair, may be a safe and cost-saving endeavor. ...
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ACPA Approved Teams are invited to apply to be an ACPA Visiting Scholar Program (VSP) Host Site. The VSP was on hold while the Membership Committee and ACPA Board of Directors reviewed the program.  In addition to updating the scholar application and changing the award criteria, ACPA is now asking ACPA Approved Teams to apply to be VSP Host sites. All teams that are accepted as host sites will be on a list of potential sites for each visiting scholar applicant to choose from.  These are the only sites scholars will be able to visit under the program. If a team is accepted as a potential host site, this status will remain will remain valid until the ACPA Team ...
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“Nathan saw doctors and specialists on a weekly basis at the ACPA Approved Team at Loma Linda University Health group--a plastic surgeon, ENT, and the entire craniofacial team. The speech therapist and nurses helped me through those early months and made sure he was developing normally. Genetic testing was done, and it was discovered that he had a small duplication of chromosome 22, which was very rare, and which likely caused the cleft palate...Our team was there for me whenever I had a question, and they made sure Nathan got the best care possible.” -Kera Washburn Team care is at the heart of ACPA’s mission–creating a world where people with cleft ...
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2019 ACPA Webinar Schedule

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ACPA offers educational webinars to cleft and craniofacial care providers worldwide.   Register for a webinar. Previous webinars are available on-demand and can be watched at any time.  View ACPA’s catalog of courses to view pricing and continuing education information for each session.  Register at least 10 days before the webinar and use code EARLYBIRD to receive the discounted rate. Upcoming webinars include: Rebroadcast – Cleft Palate Speech Therapy: From Elicitation to Spontaneous Speech April 23, 2019 12:00 PM ET ACPA Team Approval Information Session April 25, 2019 12:00 PM ET Cleft Orthognathic Surgery- Surgical Considerations ...
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The ACPA Approved Team at Duke Cleft and Craniofacial Center recently partnered with ACPA to distribute ACPA Cleft Courage Bears to patients who visit the center–and the results? Priceless. "We give the teddy bears out in our clinic, which has been very popular and makes the kids feel special," says Carlee Jones, MS, CCC-SLP, Duke Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Team Coordinator. "The children are thrilled to receive the bears and take the bears to their different appointments with the team members." The team captured countless moments on video that reveal just how comforting the bears are to patients with cleft and craniofacial conditions. According ...
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All attendees seeking CE must complete the online evaluation to receive credit. Click here to begin your evaluation. Use your ACPA account information to log-in. Scroll down to view your "Pending Credit".  Click "Submit Credit" next to each evaluation (Annual Meeting, Advanced Course, Pre-Con, etc.) General Sessions, Concurrent Sessions, Eye Openers, Foundational Courses and Study Sessions are included in the Annual Meeting evaluation.  Complete an evaluation for each item for which you are requesting credit. The first time you log-in, you must select your type of CE credit. Evaluations must be submitted by May 15, 2019 to receive credit. ...
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In light of National Volunteer Week, ACPA is recognizing volunteers who dedicate their efforts to further the mission of ACPA – creating a world where people with cleft and craniofacial conditions thrive. In 2018, extraordinary volunteers partnered with ACPA to make a difference in the lives of patients, their families and the professionals who guide them on their journeys. This week, we are celebrating every success, from the more than 240 members who volunteer their time to those who are contributing to the research and collaboration at ACPA’s 76 th Annual Meeting this week. Every act of service increases our collective impact for individuals with cleft ...
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2018 ACPA Scholarship Recipient Henry Ba ddour was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. With a passion for serving those with cleft and craniofacial differences, Henry has dedicated many years to spreading awareness through his non-profit, CleftProud. A student at UNC’s Kenan Flagler Business School, Henry is studying business in order to learn how to continue impacting the cleft and craniofacial community for the better. “Receiving this scholarship is deeply meaningful to me because it validates the many years of hard work I have dedicated to launching CleftProud. CleftProud is an online community that serves adults/teens with Cleft as well as parents ...
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In this podcast, Pat Chibbaro interviews Dr. Alexis Johns and Dr. Laura Bava about their article, "Psychosocial Functioning of Children in a Craniofacial Support Group " published in volume 56 issue 3 of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal . This study aimed to describe psychosocial functioning before and after participation in support groups for pediatric patients with craniofacial diagnoses and their families. In conclusion, although greater clinical concerns were reported compared to test norms, baseline and postgroup functioning was in the average range. Patients and caregivers reported significantly improved psychosocial functioning following group ...
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ACPA Family Services Coordinator Catherine Choi is excited to attend Barrow Cleft & Craniofacial Center's Picnic on Saturday, April 20, 2019 in Scottsdale, AZ. This annual event brings families together for a time of community and celebration, while highlighting the ACPA Cleft Courage Bears. “The cleft picnic is a wonderful opportunity for families to connect with one another,” Catherine said. “We are excited to attend this event for the first time, and hope that families will have the chance to learn more about how ACPA supports patients and families.” Through the Teddy Bear Program at Barrow Cleft & Craniofacial Center, every newborn baby is given ...
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The mobile app for ACPA’s 76th Annual Meeting is now available. Downloading the App is Easy.  Search the App Store or Google Play for “ACPA Meetings” or point your mobile browser to https://m.core-apps.com/acpa2019 to view the app in your browser or be directed to the proper download version for your phone. If you already have the ACPA Meetings app , open the app, and hit  Exit to Show List . Your app will load all available meetings.  Click  ACPA’s 76th Annual Meeting to load this year’s information. With the 2019 ACPA mobile app, you can: Stay organized with up-to-the-minute exhibitor, speaker and event information Find abstracts, disclosures ...
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ACPA Member Francis Joel Smith, PhD, was featured in the article, “Wonderfully Made,” by KPC News for his recent work to spread awareness and hope. Born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, Dr. Smith is now using his own story to spark conversation about craniofacial differences and to encourage acceptance. In his book, “Wonderfully Made,” Dr. Smith opens up about his personal journey of how he overcame physical and emotional challenges related to his facial differences. He hopes that his story will open the door for more opportunities to help others.  “A year ago, Smith returned to two of his former schools, Canterbury and J.E. Ober Elementary School in ...
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ACPA's March and April Webinars

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ACPA offers educational webinars to cleft and craniofacial care providers worldwide. Register for a live or on-demand webinar today.   Upcoming webinars include: The Importance of Early Identification and Treatment of Deformational Plagiocephaly/Brachycephaly and Congenital Muscular Torticollis March 14 1:30 PM ET Clinical Research and Quality Improvement Projects in Infants With Clefts of the Lip and Palate- What Are We Measuring? March 21 12:00 PM ET Cleft Palate Speech Therapy: From Elicitation to Spontaneous Speech Rebroadcast April 23 at 12:00 PM ET ACPA Team Approval Information Session April 25 at 12:00 ...
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ACPA represents over 35 healthcare disciplines, and most of these disciplines participate in ACPA’s Annual Meeting.  Discussion Forums at ACPA's 76th Annual Meeting give attendees a chance to discuss current topics with colleagues.   The forums, open to all registered attendees of ACPA's 76th Annual Meeting, take place on Thursday, April 11 at 5:00 PM at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson. You are invited to participate in the forum of your choice - please consider attending the session for your specialty or one you'd like to learn more about.  The ACPA Membership Committee invites attendees to join the first “Other Discipline Forum” at this year's meeting. ...
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