Cleft Palate Symposium

Annual Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Symposium

The Cleft Palate Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center has held an annual educational program for community professionals and families for over 50 years. Care of the person with cleft is best provided by a Team of professionals collaborating to treat the issues created by a cleft of the lip, dental arch, and/or palate. This is the standard of care outlined by the American Cleft PalateCraniofacial Association (ACPA), the national organization of cleft palate teams of which the Saint John’s Team is an Approved Team Member. Every year since 1969 the Team at Saint John’s has provided the current information and an exchange of ideas among specialists. Surgeons, pediatricians, otolaryngologists, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, nurses, social workers, and families with children with cleft are invited to attend and join the discussion. Team members as well as a special guest speaker in one of the associated specialties share their experience in working for these patients.

In most cases the speech and dental specialties receive little to no training in the care of children with cleft during their educational programs. The Saint John’s annual symposium was designed to begin to address that deficit in our community. The morning sessions are filled with presentations from the various specialties involved in cleft care detailing their place in the overall plan of care for these children as they grow. The afternoon is made up of three breakout sessions: Speech issues, Dental treatments, and one for Families and other interested professionals. Continuing education credits are available for Speech, Dental, Medical, and Nursing.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, we regret that for the first time we will not hold the symposium in 2020. We anticipate its return in the fall of 2021. For more information, contact us at or call 310-829-8697.