UK HealthCare

New Pediatric Craniofacial Clinic Takes a Novel Approach to Cleft Care

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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.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.