ACPA Board Update, December 2019



As 2019 comes to a close, I would like to take a moment and thank you all for empowering me to serve as your president this year.

This was a very successful year for ACPA, which began with the introduction of ACPA’s new mission: creating a world where people with cleft and craniofacial conditions thrive.  We have been working for years to serve both our professional and family audiences, and this new direction helped guide our focus on what is most important as we continue on that journey.

As I reflect on the accomplishments we have made together, I am filled with gratitude to all of you.  We have a strong sense of hope for our future as an organization to be even more impactful and do so collaboratively. We have so much to be thankful for and quite a lot to celebrate.

  • Under the direction of ACPA’s 2018 President Amelia F. Drake, the ACPA Board of Directors collaborated with the National Office Team to update the strategic plan that was introduced earlier this year. The ACPA is now even more focused on the individuals we work with and serve every day.
  • We also introduced the President’s Circle in 2019 to encourage greater participation and recognition for ACPA’s most generous donors.
  • We were thrilled to introduce the ACPA Cleft Courage Bear in January. The new bear is custom-made by GUND, Inc. with stitches across the upper lip and is infant-friendly, washable and made from high-quality plush fabric.
  • We also completed the search for a new Journal editor, selecting Jamie L. Perry, PhD, CCC-SLP to lead The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal starting in January 2020.

The ACPA Board of Directors met on November 8-9, 2019 to plan for the future of ACPA.  Below are the highlights of the meeting:

  • The board approved a balanced budget for 2020.
  • The Membership Committee reported on next steps for ACPA resulting from the member research that was conducted in 2018. ACPA will continue to work in 2020 to improve member value, diversity and inclusion, as well as awareness and engagement.
  • The board held strategic discussions on Diversity and Inclusion at ACPA and committed to making this a priority going forward. At our organization, this also includes diversity and inclusion of thought and discipline area—a core value of our organization’s ethos.  We reaffirmed the need to be inclusive of all and fully represent the diversity of our disciplines in the leadership of our organization.
  • The Family Services Committee reported on its progress reviewing ACPA’s family programs. The board discussed the college scholarship and ACPA Cleft Courage Bear pilot program. Review of Family Services programs will continue in 2020.
  • The Research Grants Selection Panel reported on its review of ACPA’s Research Grant Program. The Board will revisit this topic at the board meeting in April 2020.
  • The Board approved several policies, including a new reserve policy, an investment policy statement, an administrative fee for restricted funds policy and a disbursement policy for endowed funds.
  • The Board approved the winners of the 2020 awards and is excited to present those at ACPA’s Annual Meeting in Portland.

Additionally, I am pleased to report that we are in a position of fiscal strength and poised for future growth in 2020. In the coming year, we will also be saying goodbye to ACPA Executive Director Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE who has been instrumental in ACPA’s evolution and upward trajectory over the past five years.  While we make the transition with mixed emotions, we also appreciate the opportunity to find a new executive director to help us achieve even more success. Please help us celebrate Wendy’s successes, as well as her next steps in life as we approach our annual meeting by reaching out to her to say, “thank you.”  I am fully supporting President-Elect Patricia A. Beals, DMD, MS as she and Scott Dailey PhD, our Treasurer, begin to work with the Search Committee and Board to identify our next leader. We are working with the National Office Team and our leadership team to continue the good work of the ACPA while we search for our next executive director.

To have the chance to be a leader in our organization with individuals that care deeply about interdisciplinary care, working together, building alliances, and improving the lives of our affected families, is the rarest of gifts.  It has been my honor to serve as your president this year. I look forward to being part of the ACPA family for years to come and continue our good work together.

Yours in service,

Bernard J. Costello DMD, MD, FACS
President, ACPA
Dean and Thomas W. Braun Endowed Professor
University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine