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National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month


July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month. This is a time to raise awareness and improve understanding of orofacial clefts, clefts of the lip and palate, and other conditions of the head and face. According to the CDC and the nonprofit organization March of Dimes, a cleft lip is a common birth defect that occurs when a baby’s upper lip doesn’t form completely and has an opening in it. A cleft palate is when a baby’s roof of the mouth doesn’t form completely and has an opening in it. These defects and other conditions can lead to dental problems, ear infections, hearing and feeding problems, and speech issues.

It is important to know how these conditions affect children and their families by focusing on risk factors, healthcare service use, access to care, quality of life, and the management and treatment of these conditions. In the United States about 1 in every 1,600 babies are born with cleft lip and cleft palate, 1 in every 2,800 babies are born with cleft lip but not palate, and roughly 1 in every 1,700 babies are born with cleft palate.

Awareness of these conditions is important to increase funding for researchers and hospitals to gain a more thorough understanding of the causes and other possible solutions. MGA Homecare believes that the patient always comes first, and as a community, we can improve the lives of the affected children and their families. Together we can make a difference and we can show those who are affected by these conditions that they are not alone.

“I have worked at MGA Homecare for 6 months as a Clinical Fellow. I am currently working with a patient with a cleft palate, for feeding therapy, that I have been seeing for the past three months. This client is around 2 years old, has a repaired cleft lip, and is waiting for future repair surgery. I have really enjoyed working with this patient because it has allowed me to learn more about this population and find new creative ways to address feeding that fit the needs and strengths of this particular patient. Since this patient has a repaired lip, we frequently work on stretching and strengthening their upper lip and utilizing tools such as a Nuk brush to bring the pt’s focus to those muscles prior to eating. When working with this population, I like to start with either preventing or addressing any oral aversions and then working on compensatory strategies for eating and drinking. One piece of advice I can give to families with a loved one with a cleft palate is that your Speech Therapist wants to work with you to find the most functional outcome for the individual. Always be honest with your goals and be patient as progress may be slow and difficult to visualize, but even small amounts of progress can make a big difference in the long run.”- Alison B, SLP-CF, Austin, Texas.

If you have a patient who needs personalized care, you can feel confident in referring them to MGA Homecare. We have employees on call 24/7 to provide you with constant and open lines of communication to ensure that all our families are receiving the quality homecare they deserve: Patient Referral

If you are interested in working for a company that proudly supports Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, MGA Homecare is hiring! Apply now to change the lives of others, bring positive assistance into patients’ lives, and be a touchstone for families and children of a most fragile population. MGA has numerous career opportunities available for those looking for jobs in the home healthcare field. Click here to Join the Team!