Nationwide Childrens Hospital Earns National Distinction as a Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Team

November 10, 2011

The Commission on the Approval of Teams of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and the Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) recently voted to fully approve the Cleft Lip and Palate Center and the Center for Complex Craniofacial Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Team for a period of five years beginning January 1, 2012.

“This national distinction is one that is well-earned by an extraordinary team of health care providers who are selflessly dedicated to the care of children born with a facial difference,” said Richard Kirschner, MD, FACS, FAAP, chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Further, the honor underscores the commitment of Nationwide Children’s to achieving the best clinical outcomes and quality of life for the children we serve.”

Cleft/craniofacial teams are composed of experienced and qualified professionals from medical, surgical, dental and allied health disciplines working in an interdisciplinary and coordinated system. The purpose and goal of such teams is to ensure that care is provided in a coordinated and consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments within the framework of the patient’s overall developmental, medical and psychological needs.

As a means to verify the quality of the care provided by such Teams, the ACPA and CPF developed an approval process in order to provide:

  • Standards that identify essential characteristics of quality for team composition and functioning in order to facilitate the improvement of team care
  • Accurate information to patients and families/caregivers regarding services provided by those teams that meet specified standards

These standards have received widespread peer-review and represent minimum expectations for approval of teams providing care to individuals with clefts and craniofacial conditions.

The ACPA and CPF also established standards for care and have identified the following six components as essential to the quality of care provided by interdisciplinary teams of health care specialists to patients with craniofacial anomalies, regardless of the specific type of disorder:

  • Team Composition
  • Team Management and Responsibilities
  • Patient and Family/Caregiver Communication
  • Cultural Competence
  • Psychological and Social Services
  • Outcomes Assessment

The Cleft Lip and Palate Center and the Center for Complex Craniofacial Disorders at Nationwide Children’s offer children and their families comprehensive care from a multi-disciplinary team of nationally recognized clinicians. Led by Dr. Kirschner and Gregory Pearson, MD, respectively, the two Centers comprise of experts from numerous specialties including genetics, plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, otolaryngology (ENT), neurosurgery, ophthalmology, audiology, speech-language pathology, nursing, dentistry, social work, audiology and psychology. This team of medical professionals helps optimize facial appearance, speech, hearing, dentofacial development and overall self-concept for children with cleft lip and palate.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at