UK HealthCare

New Pediatric Craniofacial Clinic Takes a Novel Approach to Cleft Care

Dr. Liau chatting with patient in exam room
image of group of healthcare professionals wearing masks

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 17, 2021) — Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Kentucky’s Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs (OCSHCN) has partnered to offer multidisciplinary cleft lip and palate care through a new Craniofacial Clinic.

Families can receive coordinated specialty care all within one location instead of spending time going to numerous clinic appointments on different days.

"It is heartwarming to see the coordinated partnership between our institutions, because it demonstrates our dedication to providing Kentucky’s children with a cleft and their families the comprehensive and coordinated care they need and deserve," said James Y. Liau, M.D., chief of pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgery at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Cleft lip and palate are among the most common birth defects in the United States. The defect occurs when either the lip, the palate or both, do not join properly during development. With the use of prenatal screening such as ultrasounds, this can frequently be recognized and diagnosed before birth. Complications can arise early on; a child with a cleft lip or palette or both will have a hard time eating or nursing and as a result can be undernourished and underweight. In addition to surgery, children may need other treatment such as speech therapy and dental work.

Cleft care requires a team of providers from numerous specialties. This new clinic will offer appointments monthly to treat all major cleft-related specialties, including:

  • plastic surgery
  • ears, nose and throat
  • oral surgery
  • dentistry
  • speech pathology
  • audiology
  • orthodontics
  • genetics
  • social work
  • psychology
  • care coordination

Families who meet the financial need are referred by UK HealthCare to the Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs. OCSHCN has a team dedicated to help families’ complete required paperwork to obtain coverage for their care.

The pediatric Craniofacial Clinic is location on the second floor of the UK HealthCare Turfland location. For a referral, call 800-888-5533.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.