As part of our commitment to the empowerment and sustainability of healthcare talents at our mission sites, as well as building capacity for sustainable cleft care globally, GSF launched the following initiatives:
Comprehensive Care Fellowship
We launched the first Comprehensive Care Fellowship in 2015. This one-year fellowship includes:
- Travel to every GSF mission site (10-21 days/mission)
- Work with highly experienced cleft surgeons from the U.S.
- Work and interact with GSF’s comprehensive cleft team members from various specialties
- Develop the needed skillset to form a comprehensive cleft care program
- Participate in GSF’s research and publication programs
Advanced NAM Training as Part of Comprehensive Cleft Care in Outreach Settings
GSF launched the first advanced training program in NasoAlveolar Molding (NAM) therapy in outreach settings as part of Comprehensive Cleft Care in 2012 in Latin America based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This program aligns with our vision and ongoing efforts to provide comprehensive and multi-disciplinary cleft care year-round and our dedication to empowerment and sustainability initiatives through educational programs.
This training program provides the prospective fellow with the academic knowledge and clinical skills to proficiently treat infants born with cleft lip/palate utilizing NAM technique. The training includes intensive workshops and didactic knowledge taught by Craniofacial Pediatric Dentists who were trained by Dr. Barry Grayson, the founder of NAM therapy.
The prospective NAM fellow will also develop an understanding of what is needed to participate in or establish a similar NAM clinic at their own institute as part of Comprehensive Cleft Care delivery. The prospective fellow is expected to treat no less than 10 patients depending on the training duration, utilizing NAM before the patients’ primary surgical repair. The fellow will work/train with local healthcare providers. The advanced NAM training program produces proficient and scientifically adept dentists with advanced NAM training who are capable of diagnosing and managing all types of pediatric patients born with clefts.
Comprehensive Cleft Care Workshop
GSF launched the annual Comprehensive Cleft Care Workshop (CCCW) to advance world-class quality cleft care for all patients, especially in underserved populations around the world where the consequences of untreated or inadequately treated clefts can be devastating.
The CCCW brings together world leaders in the cleft and craniofacial fields to provide hands-on training, skills lab and simulation sessions, small team discussions, and detailed review of cases with the new generation of cleft care providers.
The workshop aims to enhance the quality of integrated cleft care delivered by surgeons, nurses, dentists, speech pathologists, child psychologists and other specialists by teaching an interdisciplinary team approach. Our goal is to empower health professionals to deliver the highest level of cleft care for replicable, evidence-based, and experience-proven outcomes.
The Fourth International Comprehensive Cleft Care Workshop will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on October 6-8, 2021. Visit www.cleftworkshop.org for more information.
International Partnerships for Comprehensive Cleft Care Programs
By partnering with various international hospitals and healthcare providers, GSF has been able to develop Comprehensive Cleft Care Centers in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and Beirut, Lebanon. These centers allow for free year-round, multidisciplinary care for our cleft patients as well as empower onsite providers in caring for these patients for a more sustainable future. GSF Cleft Care Centers provide surgical, dental, orthodontic, speech therapy, and psychosocial services.
During our annual outreach missions, GSF often partners with onsite universities to deliver lectures to their medical/dental student population and healthcare experts. These educational programs:
Cover a range of topics encompassing all specialties represented on our Comprehensive Cleft Team.
Offer hands-on training for local staff in the latest cutting-edge surgical, anesthesia, nursing, dental, biomedical engineering, nutrition, psychosocial, and speech therapy techniques.
Include enhanced maternal and infant preventative and nutritional programs that are helpful in reducing malnutrition and incidence of cleft deformities and dental caries are also delivered.
Residents and Fellows
Residents and fellows from top tier U.S. based medical institutions are selected by their programs to join the GSF teams. These residents and fellows gain further training in management of cleft as well as outreach programs.