ACPA Family Services



Congratulations, 2014 CPF College Scholarship Recipients!

We are pleased to announce our 2014 CPF college scholarship recipients. We received a competitive pool of over 100 extraordinary applicants, and the CPF Scholarship Committee had no small task in selecting this year’s recipients. We would like to thank all of the generous donors who continue to make this fund possible and who have helped us set a new record for 2014 as we award 18 $500 scholarships. Read more about this year’s recipients here.

The 2014 CPF college scholarship recipients are:

Whittney Chu – Warren, NJ

Elana Colangelo – West Hartford, CT

Anise Gagnon – Orlando, FL

Hailey Gardner – Blythewood, SC

*Nathan Garran – Eastham, MA
       *Gip Seaver Scholarship Recipient

Sarah Garvin – Cortland, OH

Kelsey Haggerty – Shoreham, NY

Lauren Hestand – Lompoc, CA

Logan Jones – Simi Valley, CA

Kristina Ladd – Ayer, MA

Claudia Lay – Carrollton, TX

Justin Marsee – Thompson Station, TN

Antonio Renaldo – Pasadena, MD

+Cantley Roberts – Malvern, PA
       + Randall/LaRossa Scholarship Recipient

Nicholas Rossi – New City, NY

Rachel Sciabica – San Antonio, TX

Chelsea Valenzuela – Delray Beach, FL

Haley Whitfield – Trophy Club, TX


We Can’t Wait to Connect in 2014!

Happy 2014 everyone!

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and that you are ready to read, comment, ask, answer, interact, and just generally connect with us and others here on Cleft Connection this year!

The new year is a great time to regroup and refresh so we’d like to take this opportunity to share a refresher on what exactly it is that we do here at the Cleft Palate Foundation and hopefully on how we can help you.

So let’s get started!

So what/who is the Cleft Palate Foundation?

The Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1973 to be the public service arm of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.

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Our mission is to serve individuals and families affected by cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial conditions by connecting them to team care, providing education, and offering personal support.

What does the Cleft Palate Foundation do?


  1. provide information to educate patients, families, and professionals,
  2. make referrals to cleft/craniofacial treatment teams and advocate for family-centered team care,
  3. offer telephone and online support: 1-800-24-CLEFT (800-242-5338),,
  4. host the Connections Conference: for Families, Caregivers, and Patients,
  5. provide Cleftline Teddy Bears with repaired cleft lips,
  6. share stories from and for affected individuals and families,
  7. award a minimum of three $500 college scholarships each year to young adults affected by cleft and craniofacial birth defects,
  8. fund research to learn all we can about prevention and care, and
  9. award scholarships to healthcare professionals.
How can I find out more about one or more of these services and programs?

You can click on the links above for more information on the specific service or program you are interested in.

For more information on #s 1-4 above, call us at 800-24-CLEFT or email us at to speak with our Director of Family Services, Stephanie Williamson.

For more information on #s 5-9 above, call us at 919-933-9044 or email us at to speak with our Foundation Administrator, Emily Kiser.

Questions? Comments? Just want to say hello?  Let’s connect in the comments section below!

Today is Giving Tuesday!

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. In the same way that retail stores and customers take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, nonprofit organizations and the community come together for Giving Tuesday.

Giving_Tuesday_logo_with_buttonHow can I give?

This Giving Tuesday we at the Cleft Palate Foundation are raising funds to print our feeding video in Spanish. As many of you know – and have experienced firsthand – learning to feed a baby with a cleft can be TRICKY. If the parents are not informed about proper feeding techniques, the baby might not receive enough nutrition and therefore not gain essential weight needed to survive. Your gift today will support new parents all over the world in feeding their babies and SAVE lives! [Click here or on the button above to make your secure online gift.]

What if I would like to give to another one of CPF’s programs?

That would be wonderful! To give to another one of our programs – including teddy bears, research, college scholarships, etc. – you can use this secure donation page.

What are other ways I can help?

Check out these links for more ideas on how you can spread awareness and support CPF!

Thank you for joining us this Giving Tuesday in the celebration of sharing and giving back!

CPF Announces 2014 Leadership Award Recipient

The Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) is pleased to announce our 2014 CPF Leadership Award recipient is Maria Teresa Torres de Salcedo from Lima, Peru.

Each year CPF recognizes an individual or group who has demonstrated exceptional service and leadership on behalf of individuals with cleft or craniofacial anomalies. Maria Teresa was nominated by her colleagues at Transforming Faces and will be honored during the awards luncheon at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 27, 2014.

In 1997, Maria Teresa was in her last year of university when she met a child who had cleft lip and palate.  At first, she thought a surgery was all he needed. However, it quickly became apparent that the child also needed psychological support and speech therapy.

Continue reading →

On the Other End of the Line

You’ll meet many new folks here at Cleft Connection including a few regulars that you’ll see again and again. Take a few moments to meet those on the other end of the line:

Emily Kiser_colorEmily Kiser has been the Foundation Administrator at CPF since March 2011. If you’ve ordered a CPF teddy bear, applied for a CPF college scholarship, or ordered CPF booklets, Emily may have helped you. A Spanish-speaker, she is the first-contact person for our Spanish-speaking patients and families.

SW1Stephanie Williamson joined CPF staff as Director of Family Services in the summer of 2013. From direct service to research to education, Stephanie’s professional experience has woven through many facets of individual and family support. Whether you’ve got a question about a treatment team, feeding support, care as an adult, or any other craniofacial care issue, Stephanie’s mission is to connect you with the information and resources you need.

Lisa mugLisa Gist Walker has been part of the CPF community since 2006 and is former Director of Family Services. Since 2010 she’s managed special projects and events for CPF including publications and staff development. Lisa’s work with children and families stretches across more than 25 years and includes community mental health services and other non-profit settings.

         That’s us, the regulars you’ll see here at Cleft Connection.                 We can’t wait to meet you, too!

Coming Soon!

We plan to have our new blog up and running in the next few weeks. We will be covering a variety of topics including common questions and concerns, current issues and trends in cleft/craniofacial care, and much more! We hope you will feel welcome to jump in and join these conversations with us. Check back with us soon!