Across the U.S., one infant in every 750 births will have a "cleft" defect of the lip or palate, with about 50 cases each year in Northeast Florida. In order for a child with this condition to have a full recovery, treatment plans must take into account many variables and involve different doctors.
This is why the University of Florida Section of Pediatric Cleft Lip/Palate participates in a team approach through the Children's Medical Services/Northeast Florida Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate Team. The team members come from UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Wolfson Children's Hospital, Children's Medical Services (an agency of the State of Florida), as well as private practice physicians.
The Jacksonville Cleft Lip and Palate Team originated in 1952 and was the first team in Florida certified by Children's Medical Services. Today, this team provides care for approximately 300 patients with cleft lip and palates in North Florida and South Georgia. Approximately 30 newborns and 10 to 15 older children are referred annually.
There are a total of 17 subspecialists who collaborate twice each month to evaluate patients' files together, constructing a surgical and treatment plan for each child.
Combining academic inquiry with children's hospital staff and proven private practice excellence, the team intertwines the total care of the child to achieve the best in looks, speech, self-esteem, and growth and development of the oral cavity.
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