Model comprehensive, high quality care for indigent, medically isolated patients with cleft lip and palate deformities – beyond surgery alone – in a locally sustainable manner.
Our goal is that every child dealing with the stigma of cleft lip and palate should be able to obtain surgery, no matter their financial situation or geographic barriers. Treating cleft lip and palate and facial anomalies is not easy, as it requires continuous follow-up care long after surgery. FACES is one of the few international cleft teams that is endorsed by the American Cleft Palate Association.
FACES (Foundation for the Advancement of Cleft Education and Services), founded in 2001, has performed hundreds of cleft lip and palate surgeries on medically isolated patients. Providing cleft surgery is just the tip of the iceberg for our program – we also provide speech therapy over the Internet, social services, dental care, orthodontia and other general healthcare and family support. We are adamant that our program involve many local partners at our project sites: we believe that partnering with local organizations provides exponential added benefit to the community, the families, and the children with cleft. We have spent the last six years building our program in Lambayeque, Peru, in the northern region of the country. We have many close partners, one of the main ones is the Lions Club. The Lambayeque women’s Lions Club (Ciudad Evocadora Lambayeque) has been working with us for years to find cleft patients from rural regions. They help find, transport, house and care for the patients once they arrive at the hospital. We also work with Portland-area Lions Clubs on developing new projects: we are working with these Lions Clubs to create a regional sight and hearing screening program and referral system in northern Peru.
One of our strengths is making use of technology in innovative ways to help those most in need. After a cleft lip and palate surgery, the patients often needs speech therapy to learn how to move their tongue and lips properly. This came as a challenge because our patients are indigent and live in rural parts of Peru. We developed the FACES Connectivity Model to solve this challenge. Using 3G, 4G and WiFi technology we connect with our patients using laptops and webcams. Our Portland-based speech therapists connect with patients over the Internet and provide speech therapy. Using the model we’ve created, we teach our patients how to make the sounds of speech with their tongue and mouth, a necessary step to help them function fully in their homes, families and communities. Being able to speak clearly and be understood, something many of us take for granted, gives our patients a new life and new opportunities. The FACES Foundation Non-Discrimination Policy can be found here.
FACES Foundation is a non-profit (501c3). Our EIN is 93-‐1326335.
I want to: learn about cleft lip and palate.
I want to: learn about FACES and telemedicine.
I want to: read FACES stories.
I want to: see FACES photo albums.