Hagedorn Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center

The Hagedorn Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center was founded in 1962 by Dr. Richard Walden, who assembled a team of professionals consisting of plastic surgeons, oral surgeons, orthodontists, neuropsychologists, dentists, ENT surgeons, geneticists, speech and hearing therapists, psychologists and a nurse coordinator. This multidisciplinary team approach continues today with Dr. Pamela Gallagher serving as medical director.

At the moment when a parent first learns their child has a cleft lip or palate or another craniofacial disorder, they are concerned about their child's physical appearance and the associated social implications. The intervention of a trained professional knowledgeable in caring for children with cleft palate and craniofacial disorders is critical to assist these families in gaining a sense of perspective and finding new hope for the future. At this time, services that are available at the Hagedorn Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center are explained to the parents. Instruction is given in the proper feeding and care of their baby. The center supplies special nipples and bottles at no charge to the families and provides ongoing clinical and emotional support to the parents for their child's pre- and post-operative care.

By combining a physician conference with a patient examination, the specialists have an opportunity to share information and implement a comprehensive plan of care designed to facilitate surgical and medical outcomes. A nurse coordinator follows these patients from birth through their teens to ensure a continuum of care and to act as an advocate on behalf of families with insurance companies regarding services that are vital to each patient's health and well-being.

Children with craniofacial disorders require more than expert medical and surgical care, they need ongoing psychological and emotional support. To offer long-term assistance and support to older patients, the Hagedorn Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center sponsors a support group for adolescents to explore their special needs and concerns in a safe and supportive atmosphere. They can discuss their experiences and coping mechanisms for functioning in social and unfamiliar situations. The center also sponsors support groups for parents to explore their needs and concerns.

Any and all children regardless of their age or financial status are welcome at the Hagedorn Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Center. Referrals and inquiries can be made by calling (516) 466-2990.


Last Update

August 6, 2009
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