Cleft Palate Center Nears 50th Anniversary

October 31, 2014

The Cleft Palate Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center will celebrate its 50th year in 2015 and is beginning a new era with Mark M. Urata, MD, DDS, serving as medical director.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip and mouth do not form properly, resulting in openings or splits in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth (known as the palate) or both.

The multidisciplinary Cleft Palate Center team has treated thousands of patients of all ages. Patients and their families meet all the team members, including clinical specialists; plastic surgeons; pediatricians; ear, nose and throat specialists; speech pathologists; audiologists; social workers; and orthodontists.

The team repairs the defect, creates an aesthetic appearance and ensures proper dental function and speech. Although the center treats patients from all over Southern California, it is ideal for families on the Westside, Dr. Urata notes. Surgery and related rehabilitative services often mean several visits to the center. “Families on the Westside can go to the Providence Saint John’s Cleft Palate Center and avoid having to pull their kids out of school on the days when they need treatment,” he ex- plains. “These families find a nice home at Saint John’s.”

Call 1-888-HEALING for more information.