ACPA Family Services

Family Services Leadership Award

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Family Services Leadership Award

ACPA’s Family Services Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group, such as a parent, patient, advocate, or community organization, who has demonstrated exceptional service and leadership on behalf of individuals with cleft or craniofacial anomalies. Award nominations must be made by a sponsor and a co-sponsor, both of whom provide cleft-related services.  Healthcare providers and cleft team professionals are not eligible to receive this award.

The Leadership Award winner receives a plaque and is recognized at the Annual Meeting of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.  The award recipient will also receive $500 for travel expenses. 

Please check here in Fall 2017 to nominate deserving candidates for the Leadership Award.



The Cleft India Parents Association was honored as the 2016 Leadership Award winner.  Dr. Karoon Agrawal accepts the award on behalf of CIPA from Past President Marilyn Cohen.

Award nominations must be made by a sponsor and a co-sponsor, both of whom provide cleft-related services. The sponsor and co-sponsor must each write a statement of support. Nominations must be submitted by November 15, including completion of the online application and statements of support.  If preferred, sponsor statements may be emailed to, faxed to 919-933-9604, or mailed to 1504 E. Franklin St. Suite 102, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

Nominees must have demonstrated exceptional service and leadership for no less than three years. Healthcare/team professionals are not eligible to receive this award.   The Family Services Committee reserves the right not to recommend a recipient in any given year.


2015 Leadership Award winners, Tim and Pam Baker, were honored for their work with Chinese orphans with cleft lip and palate. The Bakers are pictured here with Past President Marilyn Cohen.


Previous Leadership Award Winners:
2017 Rick GuidottiFormerly a celebrity fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti now uses his skills to celebrate the spirit of difference. He founded Positive Exposure to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical, intellectual and behavioral differences. His work in the craniofacial community sheds light on the beauty of individuals with facial differences.
2016 Cleft India Parents AssociationThis organization was founded to help families in India by providing information, support, and networking opportunities throughout their cleft care treatment. CIPA is one of the only organizations working to meet support needs of families in the cleft community in India.
2015 Timothy and Pamela BakerShepherd’s Field Children’s Village in Tianjin, China is home to orphaned children with special needs, including several born with cleft and craniofacial conditions.  The Bakers founded and continue to run SFCV, in addition to providing care for their adopted son born with cleft lip/palate and their six other children.
2014 Maria Teresa Torres Morales de SalcedoSince 1997, Maria Teresa has been serving children and families affected by cleft lip and palate in Peru. She has established two non-profits to help support affected individuals and their families and was instrumental in developing community rehabilitation centers to provide decentralized care in impoverished areas of Lima, Peru. Read more about Maria Teresa’s work here.
2012 Zeb and Meaghan CarabelloZeb and Meaghan Carabello have been an integral part of the Cleft Camp program at the Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado since 2004 as enthusiastic volunteers, inspiring and supportive mentors, and tireless fundraisers. With the Carabello’s fundraising efforts, and their thought and input on how to utilize the money, the camping program has been expanded to include a winter Cleft Camp.
2011 Paula MillerFounder of Virginia Smiles, Mrs. Miller has distributed Pigeon Feeders and copies of the Cleft Palate Foundation’s feeding video to all birthing hospitals in Virginia, as well as information about the Infant Toddler Connection of Virginia, Craniofacial Teams in Virginia from the Cleft Palate Foundation, and information from Cleft Advocate.
2010 Harriet FisherFounder of Thanksgiving in the Country, Mrs. Fisher has raised more than $500,000.00 for cleft care, education and advocacy. Her efforts also support the work of Casa Azul America, a group working on cleft repair and care in central Mexico.

 For a full listing of winners (1988-present), please contact ACPA Family Services.