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American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association to Merge with Cleft Palate Foundation

Bookmark and Share Chapel Hill, NC - June 28, 2017 -

The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and the Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF), two nonprofit organizations dedicated to the treatment of cleft palate and other craniofacial conditions, will merge operations effective June 30, 2017.

ACPA is an association of health care professionals who treat and/or perform research on patients with oral cleft and craniofacial conditions with a focus on an integrated, multidisciplinary team care approach. The organization currently has more than 2,500 members in 60 countries who practice in 30+ medical, surgical, dental and allied health disciplines. ACPA also publishes The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal.

CPF primarily serves individuals affected by cleft and craniofacial conditions and their families with informational and educational resources, support and connections to multidisciplinary care teams of in their communities. The foundation also underwrites patient and family services, research and scholarships in the field.

“The leadership of ACPA and CPF agreed that joining forces will increase our collective impact and reduce barriers to achieving the best possible outcomes for patients with cleft lip, palate and craniofacial conditions through education, support, research, advocacy and interdisciplinary team care,” said ACPA president Robert Havlik, M.D., and CPF president Marilyn Cohen, LSLP, in a joint statement.

The merger will result in a combined organization with a single executive director, staff and operational platform. (Both organizations are based in Chapel Hill and already share offices and administrative functions.) ACPA will continue patient and family services, as well as professional development and other programs for ACPA members. No staff reductions are expected as a result of the merger.

CPF’s work will continue under the new ACPA Family Services program. For the time being, the CPF website, publications, informational telephone line and other patient and family support channels will continue to use the existing “Cleftline” brand.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. Approximately 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate, in the U.S. annually. Clefts that occur with no other major birth defects are one of the most common types of birth defects in the U.S. and globally, occurring in about 1 in 700 births overall. The causes are not always known, although some cases are linked to genetics and/or are associated with a syndrome.

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