Each year, approximately 1 in 750 children is born with a cleft lip or palate which can have an impact on a child’s speech, dental health, hearing, educational advancement and swallowing. The mission of the Regional Craniofacial Center at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is to provide quality specialized team care to the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with cleft and other congenital and/or acquired anomalies. At St. Joseph’s Craniofacial Center, a premier multidisciplinary team of pediatric subspecialists provides consultation, diagnosis and treatment for patients with craniofacial disorders as well as education and support for their family members. Approximately half of parents referred to our center have a fetus identified as having a cleft or facial and ear anomaly. These families utilize our services themselves for prenatal counseling and to be educated at the Center.
Last year, more than 2,000 craniofacial patients traveled to the Center seeking evaluation and treatment from audiology, surgery, dental, genetic, neurology, speech, radiology, ENT, opthamology and family counseling. Many of our families have no means of private transportation.
Craniofacial deformities are particularly difficult because of their immediate impact on function, appearance and parent-child bonding. Finding the right clinicians, and physicians for our craniofacial families to communicate and collaborate with for the treatment of their child is a fundamental goal of the craniofacial team. Team care is recognized as the standard for affected children and adults. A cleft palate/craniofacial team is a committed group of specialists who collaborate using their shared experience and expertise to make treatment timely, efficient and as comfortable as it can be for the patient. Each clinician has a role to play, but the major benefits of team care are realized when we all work together. Unique to this Center is a subgroup of team clinicians dedicated to prosthetic and/or biologic reconstruction of the ears and other parts of the face.
Through our Family-to-Family Network, an outreach support group, parents/caregivers of children whose craniofacial anomalies were treated at the Center are matched with parents of children born with similar conditions. This allows parents to share their experiences and support one another.
The Regional Craniofacial Center at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital not only meets, it exceeds standards set by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association for designation as a Craniofacial Team. The team is also a member of the New Jersey Federation of Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Teams and is funded in part by the Department of Health and senior Services, Special Child Health and Early Intervention services.
- Contact Us
Gretchen Poage, Clinical Coordinator
Regional Craniofacial Center – 2nd Floor
11 Getty Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07503