Texas Children’s Hospital to host inaugural weekend camp for patients affected by cleft lip or palate

Nearly 30 patients from Texas Children’s Hospital will be packing their bags in preparation for an unforgettable weekend getaway. The kids, ranging in ages from 10 to 16 years, will be the first to attend Texas Children’s inaugural camp for children affected by cleft lip and palate. The weekend camp, which will be officially named by this year’s attendants, will be held March 14 to 16. For more information Texas Children’s cleft lip and palate program, visit texaschildrens.org

Led by various members of Texas Children’s craniofacial team, the camp is designed to provide children born with cleft lip or palate the chance to be themselves, make new friendships and gain the self confidence many of them lack due to their facial abnormalities. The camp program will focus on personal challenges and group-building, as well as recreational activities that are all designed to enhance socialization and self-confidence.

“It is our goal to make these kids feel safe and supported,” said Dr. Larry Hollier, chief of plastic surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, and co-founder of the camp program. “Our number one hope is that they end the weekend feeling good about themselves and with the establishment of new, strong friendships.”

Dr. Laura Monson, pediatric plastic surgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital, is the other driving force behind the establishment of the camp. “Our team has received a great deal of feedback from patients about the hardships they endure and the challenges they face just because they look different,” said Monson, who is also assistant professor of plastic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. “It was evident that these kids need—and deserve—an opportunity to be amongst peers that completely understand what it’s like to grow up with a facial difference.”

Texas Children’s Cleft Lip and Palate team not only provides surgical treatments for these patients’ physical abnormalities but they also realize the importance of their physiological well being. As part of their dedication to healing the whole child, the team follows their patients’ clinical outcomes and quality of life for 18 years. They track the patient’s speech progress, the aesthetical development of the cleft lip and palate repair, as well as the progress of the child’s emotional and psychosocial healing.

“Our team’s dedication doesn’t just stop with the patients we are currently treating,” says Hollier, who is also professor and chief of plastic surgery at Baylor. “We are committed to tracking the progress of our kids so that we can perfect the already exceptional care we provide and improve clinical outcomes for those future families that will be seeking our help down the road,” said Hollier.

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation, Texas Children’s has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children’s has completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children’s, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children’s by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

Contact: Elizabeth Shackouls

SOURCE Texas Children’s Hospital