First International Cleft Care Symposium


A Huge Success!
Our First International Symposium in Shanghai

We are excited to announce that in conjunction with our partner, The China Population Welfare Foundation, we just hosted our first International Symposium on Team Treatment for Cleft Lip and Palate Anomalies.  The symposium took place at the Covidien Medical facility in Shanghai China, from April 26 to 28, 2015.

Over 90 participants gathered together from all five AfS Treatment Centers in China – Jiujiang, Wenzhou, Harbin, Zunyi and Guiyang – to learn more about how Cleft Teams need to be developed to provide the best treatment possible.

To review the princIn addition to our China team, five participants from Bangladesh attended the symposium.  Later this year we will send a Treatment Team to Gazipur, Bangladesh to assess the possibility of establishing a center there.  The Bangladesh team profited from learning from others what Team Care is all about.

This type of care includes a team made up of a surgeon, orthodontist/dentist, speech pathologist, social worker, pediatrician, audiologist, and coordinator.

To review the principles behind this team care concept, Alliance for Smiles brought four outstanding experts from the United States.
Dr. William Hoffman, M.D., Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of California Medical Center.
Dr. Karin Vargervik, Distinguished Professor Emerita, UCSF; and former Director for the Center on Craniofacial Anomalies at UCSF.
Dr. Cathy Tao, Orthodontia Specialist.
Dr. Sally Peterson-Falzone, former Director of Speech and Hearing Research at the Center for Craniofacial Anomalies at the University of Illinois, Chicago;  Speech-Language Pathologist for the Craniofacial Center at UCSF and Past President of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and SENTAC.

And to discuss complications related to anesthesia during cleft surgery, we brought Dr. Susan Taylor, Associate Professor of Pediatric Anesthesiology at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. 

Monday began with a General Session on the concept and importance of team care.  The group was welcomed by the Alliance for Smiles VP for China Affairs, Dr. Colin Wong; Board Chair, Dr. Karl Wustrack; and President & CEO, Anita Stangl.

In the afternoon, groups broke out to discuss surgical techniques, speech pathology, anesthesia, dentistry, and orthodontia, and conducted an exchange of ideas reviewing challenges of Team Care in China with facilitators of programs from the Centers.

The following day each of the Treatment Centers reported on their accomplishments and renewed their commitments to Team Care.  


Presentations were also made by Dr. Li Cheng-hao from the prestigious West China College of Stomatology in Chengdu and from Dr. Wang Guomin who is the Director of the highly reputed Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Cleft Lip/Palate Center at the Affiliated Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital.  These are two of the most prominent Cleft Centers in all of China.

At the conclusion of the two day Symposium, the five Treatment Center sites made a commitment to continue to development programs that involved Team Care and to collaborate with one another to share ideas and resources.

The Symposium was an overwhelming success!