So how does cleft care work in Kentucky? Right now, cleft care is located in two different geographical places: Louisville and Lexington. But because Cincinnati is on the border, many Kentuckians get cleft there as well.
Advantages to staying in Kentucky
However, there is an advantage for families that stay in Kentucky for cleft care. The Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs is funded by the state and addresses the needs of all children with health care needs; not just cleft lip and palate. There are a lot of benefits with the clinic, but there are two major advantages:
- It’s a multidisciplinary clinic. Experts from many specialties work as a team at the clinic, all seeing patients on the same day. Team members involved in cleft care include speech therapists, audiologists (hearing), nutritionists, oral surgeons, pediatric dentists, orthodontists, plastic surgeons and social workers.Although seeing all of these experts can make for a long day for patients, the one-stop shop allows team members to hold a multidisciplinary meeting after seeing the patient. Experts talk about the patient and discuss the plan of care.When the care gets complicated, this meeting becomes more important because it allows for coordination of care and clear discussion between health care providers. Nurse coordinators play a vital role in making these multidisciplinary meetings possible – they make appointments and keep everyone organized!
- Cleft care can be a large financial investment. The clinic helps families with fewer resources get the help they need and deserve. I completely believe in this philosophy, and it makes me proud to be part of The Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs.
Specialists from UK HealthCare
The bulk of the specialists who make up the cleft portion of the clinic also work at UK HealthCare. This offers the best of both worlds, as it joins state resources with UK HealthCare specialists. Also, all procedures are done at UK HealthCare, which allows patients to take advantage of pediatric anesthesia and all the pediatric specialists and resources at Kentucky Children’s Hospital. The staff at Kentucky Children’s Hospital makes sure everything is the safest and most comfortable for you and your child during surgery.
Cleft care can be complicated, and without someone to help guide you through it, it can be quite overwhelming. With all these specialists seeing your child, it is quite confusing to know what step comes next. That is why you need someone who is specifically trained in craniofacial surgery to make sure all the steps and procedures are done appropriately and at the right time. I like to think I am your “easy button.” I am the person who takes care of all the coordination and answers your questions.
My goal is to make sure the cleft care at UK HealthCare is the best in Kentucky, as well as the surrounding states. There is the benefit of having several centers, but I will go out on a limb to say there is no one else out there who is more dedicated to making sure everything goes well throughout a child’s journey through his or her cleft treatment. As a parent, I cannot think of anything more anxiety-provoking and stressful than your child undergoing surgical treatment. All my cleft families get my email and contact numbers, and I take pride in being available for my patients. I take pride and joy in making sure care is personalized for you and your family.