When your child needs care for a cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial birth defect, we know how concerned you feel. Our team of maxillofacial specialists provides the support, answers, diagnosis and treatment you and your family need to ensure your child can eat and communicate well. We are also focused on making sure that your child grows and thrives throughout their treatment.
Our team coordinates your child’s care among many doctors and therapists to meet their medical and social needs. We work together with you and your child to:
- Repair the birth defect
- Achieve normal speech, language and hearing
- Achieve good dental alignment and dental health
- Achieve facial symmetry and restore facial appearance
At Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital we work with hundreds of children each year with cleft lip, cleft palate and related conditions. We focus on family-centered care to help your child reach the best emotional and developmental outcomes.
Your child receives care from a wide range of doctors, nurses and other staff who work throughout the community as part of our maxillofacial program. We all work together to ensure children with maxillofacial conditions get the best care possible.
Our team includes:
- Doctors and nurses
- Therapy services
We also partner with maxillofacial providers at Washington State University and Eastern Washington University.
When your family comes to our program, you are paired with a team nurse coordinator who will:
- Assess your child’s ability to eat
- Assist your family with understanding and implementing your child’s care plan
- Collaborate with your family’s primary care doctors
- Design the child’s care plan using your insurance coverage and other available resources
- Monitor your child’s growth and development
- Prepare your child and family for surgeries
- Provide care coordination
We remain your child’s provider throughout their teen years, transitioning care around age 19. Our team continuously checks your child’s progress in a range of health areas, including:
- Surgical outcomes
As your child grows and develops, the nurse coordinator will adjust the care plan to meet their changing needs.
Our nurse coordinators educate the community about the needs of children with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial birth defects. We consult with doctors, hospital staff and community providers to ensure children receive the best possible care.
We focus on best practices as outlined by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and the Washington State Department of Health Children with Special Health Care Needs Program.
For more information, or to refer a child to the Spokane maxillofacial program, email program coordinator Julie McGraw.