Wendy’s Water Cooler Chat

ACPAACPA News, Water Cooler Chat

(from left to right) Janice Lee, DDS, MD, MS and Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE

I continue to be inspired as I learn about the profession, observe teams and meet members. Since joining ACPA, I was honored to be invited by the National Institute for the Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) to present a clinical perspective along with Dr. Janice Lee of the National Institutes of Health.

Gene-Environment Interaction in Orofacial Clefting Workshop

On September 6-7, NIDCR hosted a workshop in Bethesda on gene-environment interactions in orofacial clefting. The workshop brought together developmental biologists, geneticists, clinicians, epidemiologists, representatives from patient and professional associations, and others to examine the interplay of genes and environmental exposures in the etiology of orofacial clefting. The attendees discussed gaps in knowledge and resources and mapped out paths for future research. The workshop was convened in collaboration with NIAAA, NICHD, NIDA, NIEHS and CDC.

It was a powerful gathering of researchers who are striving to identify the sources of nonsyndromic cleft. I was honored and humbled to be at the table with this group of esteemed researchers – all seeking ways to identify sources of CLP and ways to help prevent it.

(back row from left to right) Abby Arthur, RN, BSN, Ben Stanley, Audiology Student, Rick Kapitan, DDS, MS, William Bicket, MD
(front row from left to right) Leslie Giambrone, Med, CCC/SLP, Anita Rahim, MS, CCC/SLP, Melissa Horning, AuD, Dan Schlieder

In my effort to visit all the teams in North Carolina, the Carolinas Center for Cleft Lip & Palate Surgery team hosted me in September. They are currently witnessing rapid growth and are working to implement new technology into their practice, including in-office cone beam CT scanner, MP3 speech sample audio files, and intra-oral scanner.

There was symmetry to this visit because during my first month at ACPA, Dr. Kapitan visited our offices. He was very excited to be establishing a team and applying for Team Approval. It was powerful to visit the approved team two years later, join the team meeting, shadow patients and learn how they are applying techniques they learned from ACPA’s Annual Meeting.

On that note, the National Office Team is in full-swing with preparations for ACPA’s Annual Meeting to be held March 13-18, 2017 in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor. The Program Committee met last weekend to set the scientific session. It’s exciting to be at this point, and I look forward to seeing you there.