TU Clinic Team Receives State Recognition

Monday, November 13, 2006

Members of the Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Clinic at The University of Tulsa recently received recognition for their work and were awarded a grant to assist the needs of children affected with cleft palates and other facial differences.

The Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association presented TU audiologist Carol Lambert with the Honors of the Association award, which recognizes noteworthy professional service and exceptional accomplishment in the field of communication disorders.

Christine Clary, D.O., was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for her service to the communication disorders field. Clary, a TU alumna in speech-language pathology, serves as the pediatrician for the team.

Jeff Cowen of Tulsa, a TU graduate student in the Department of Communication Disorders, received a $1,000 outstanding student scholarship award from association.

The awards were presented during the annual state association meeting held in Sept. 29-30 in Oklahoma City.

Other members of TU’s Cleft Palate-Craniofacial medical team consists of Lori Davis, TU associate professor of communication disorders; Mary Moody, TU speech-language pathologist and clinical instructor in the Department of Communication Disorders; oral and maxillofacial surgeon Kevin Smith from Oklahoma City; and orthodontist Doug Kirkpatrick. The team meets monthly on campus at the Mary K. Chapman Center for Communication Disorders to review cases of children born with facial differences, including cleft palates and cleft lips.

A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth in which the two sides of the palate did not fuse as the unborn baby was developing. A cleft lip is a separation of the two sides of the lip and often includes a separation of the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum. Both conditions make it difficult for infants to properly feed without special care.

The TU center provides a one-stop facility for patients to receive the initial team evaluation, make appointments for surgery, and return for all yearly and other follow-up care. The surgeries are performed off-campus.

Also, the Smile for a Child Foundation recently awarded TU a $3,000 grant to be used for purchasing Haberman feeders, which are special bottles designed for feeding children with clefts. The foundation was established to assist the medical, educational and emotional needs of children affected with cleft palate and other facial differences. The foundation seeks to help those who are not eligible for other forms of assistance or provides assistance for costs that are not medically covered, such as orthodontics. The Surgeon General estimates that lifetime medical costs for children with clefts are at least $100,000.

For more information, call the Mary K. Chapman Center for Communicative Disorders at (918) 631-2504.