National association recognizes Erlanger Cleft and Craniofacial Center for meeting patient care standards

A multidisciplinary team of physicians and other care providers who specialize in serving patients with cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial disorders has earned Cleft Palate Team Approval from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA). The team at Erlanger Cleft and Craniofacial Center is one of over 180 approved teams in the U.S. and Canada that have been recognized for meeting the Standards of Team Care for Cleft and Craniofacial Teams.

The ACPA Team Approval process ensures that cleft and craniofacial care is provided in a coordinated and consistent manner, follows the proper sequence and takes place within the framework of the patient’s overall developmental, medical and psychological needs. Teams are comprised of experienced and qualified professionals who work in an interdisciplinary and coordinated system to provide strong and reliable communication between team members, families and referring providers.

Erlanger Cleft and Craniofacial Center offers specially trained pediatric experts from plastic surgery, otolaryngology, primary care, speech therapy, audiology and orthodontist/dentistry who work together to create the best plan of action for pediatric patients.  They help families overcome problems with cleft palate and craniofacial issues by identifying them as early as possible, coordinating pre-birth education as soon as deformities are detected on ultrasound exams and provide education and coordinated treatment plans through every aspect of a child’s care – from birth to well into their adult years.

“As the first ACPA recognized team in Chattanooga, this is a huge stride forward for cleft care,” said craniofacial, reconstructive and plastic surgeon, Todd Thurston, MS, MD.  “I appreciate the support Erlanger Cleft and Craniofacial Center has provided to see this process through.  It has involved two years of hard work and dedication to ensure top notch cleft care in the region.”

The Commission on Approval of Teams was established in November 2008 to manage an approval process to facilitate the improvement of team care. ACPA Team Approval is an independent process that ensures accurate information can be provided to patients and families. Approval by the Commission does not imply endorsement of the quality of treatment or services provided by any member of the approved team. Though the Commission does not approve teams internationally, the website also lists teams from around the world as a resource. For more information, visit

Visit Erlanger Cleft and Craniofacial Center for more information about the center.

About the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association
The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) association of interested individuals and health care professionals who treat and/or perform research on oral cleft and craniofacial conditions. Since 1943, ACPA has worked to optimize outcomes for individuals with oral cleft and craniofacial conditions through education, support, research, advocacy and interdisciplinary team care. ACPA also provides information to affected individuals and families and seeks to educate the public about facial differences through its ACPA Family Services program. For more information, please visit