MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Cleft Lip and Palate Program at the WVU Medicine Children’s Pediatric Craniofacial Center has received team status from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA).

The experts who comprise the WVU Medicine Children’s Cleft Lip and Palate Program repair cleft lips and palates and manage resulting and related complications, including velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), which occurs when the body cannot close the communication between the nasal cavity and the mouth; dental problems; and ear and hearing problems.

According to the ACPA, the goal of the team approval process is to “ensure that care is provided in a coordinated and consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments within the framework of the patient’s overall developmental, medical, and psychological needs.” Approved teams are “comprised of experienced and qualified professionals from medical, surgical, dental, and allied health disciplines working in an interdisciplinary and coordinated system.” 

The multidisciplinary Cleft Lip and Palate Program allows children to benefit from the consolidated knowledge of many specialists from different fields. Under the direction of otolaryngologist and facial plastic reconstructive surgeon Mark Armeni, M.D., the Program includes specialists from Anesthesiology, Audiology, General Pediatrics, Genetics, Neonatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Psychology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Social Work, and Speech Language Pathology. Similarly, the Craniofacial Team, led by Cesar Serrano, M.D., includes specialists from Anesthesiology, Developmental Pediatrics, Neurosurgery, Pediatric Psychology, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Social Work. 

“This is a very exciting and well-deserved acknowledgement of these two teams’ adherence to exemplary care for patients with cleft and craniofacial anomalies,” Aaron Mason, M.D., director of programming for the WVU Medicine Children’s Pediatric Craniofacial Center, said. “The designation lists our programming on the ACPA web list, which is a national resource for parents and families.”

WVU Medicine Children’s – currently located on the sixth floor of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, WVU Medicine’s flagship hospital – provides maternal, infant, and pediatric care for West Virginia and the surrounding region, giving care to high-risk mothers, premature infants, and children with life-threatening conditions through adolescence to adulthood. In 2020, WVU Medicine Children’s will move into a new, eight-story tower and three-story ambulatory care center to be attached to Ruby Memorial. For more information, including ways to support the $60-million capital campaign for Children’s new home, visit