International Treatment Programs
The mission of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) is to optimize the interdisciplinary care of individuals with cleft lip, cleft palate, and other craniofacial anomalies. ACPA does this through professional education, stimulation of research, and the promotion of interdisciplinary collaboration and team care.
In addition, the ACPA desires to improve communication and cooperation among professionals interested in craniofacial anomalies and to develop the public's understanding of, and support for, the needs of individuals with cleft and craniofacial conditions.
Towards these goals, the ACPA strongly endorses the efforts of individuals and organizations to provide professional education and clinical care for individuals with cleft lip, cleft palate and related craniofacial anomalies in nations outside their home country. ACPA standards for international care are aimed towards assuring that international exchanges or mission-based cleft lip, cleft palate and craniofacial care are delivered in a safe and high quality manner. In the spirit of improving international collaborations, this aspirational set of standards is set forth by the ACPA.
The ACPA asserts that:
The primary objective of international clinical programs is to render appropriate service to all persons who seek care with full respect for human dignity. Visiting clinicians should respect the trust and confidence of patients in their care, rendering to each individual a full measure of quality service, safety, confidentiality and dedication.
International clinical programs should be conducted with the agreement of the host nation and with the cooperation of host nation health professionals. Such programs must be sensitive to the cultural practices, laws and norms of the host nation.
International clinical programs should seek to educate and train host nation professionals who can thereafter deliver high quality, team-based care.
Interdisciplinary team approaches should be utilized in providing care in international settings. Such care is best provided in venues where appropriate post-treatment and long-term follow-up can be accomplished. When possible quality assessments of care outcomes should be undertaken.
Clinicians participating in international treatment programs should provide only the type of care and procedures for which they have appropriate training and experience and also which they regularly, safely, and competently perform as part of their clinical practice. It is important that all clinicians participating in international treatment programs maintain their skills and keep their knowledge current.
Training and experience to perform cleft lip and palate and/or craniofacial care should be obtained only through properly supervised and monitored training programs, not through unstructured experiences outside the home country.
- The principles of informed consent should apply in any setting where clinical care is rendered. Patients must be known by name to the medical team and parents or guardians must provide fully informed, educated, and culturally appropriate consent for any procedures performed on children. When language differences exist, professionals should utilize translators to assure informed consent exists prior to the delivery of care.
ACPA Ad Hoc Working Group on International Treatment Programs:
Linda D'Antonio, PhD
Jim Lehman, MD
Michael Moses, MD
Harlan Muntz, MD
Peter Spalding, DDS, MS
Barry Steinberg, PhD, DDS, MD, FACS
Ron Strauss, DMD, PhD(Chair)
Approved by ACPA Executive Council, April 2001
Revised April 2009
Endorsed to date by the following organizations:
American Academy of Oral-Maxillofacial Radiology
American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Arlington Heights, IL
Cleft Palate Foundation
Chapel Hill, NC
Face the Challenge, Inc
Global Health Outreach
Indian Orthodontic Society
San Diego, California
International Children’s Surgical Foundation
Life Enhancement Association for People (LEAP)
Operation Good Samaritan - Loma Linda University Department of Plastic Surgery
Loma Linda, California
Operation Restore Hope
San Francisco, California
Operation Tooth Fairy Foundation
Physicians for Peace
San Francisco, California
Smiles International Foundation
Thai Association of Orthodontists
Transforming Faces Worldwide
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Yucatan Crippled Children’s Program
Miami Shores, Florida