TagsAnnual Report Argentina Audiology Beautiful Before & After Brain Drain China Cleft2013 CleftCongress Cleft lip and Palate Donor Spotlight E-MPOWER Ethiopia Event Fundraising Ghana Gift ideas India Jobs & Volunteer Opportunities Laos Lives Transformed Nigeria Oral Health PACT Partnerships Peru Research Social Work speech therapy Survey TF team Thailand Training Yeabsra
Our partner, GAVINA, serves Tucumán and neighbouring provinces where the most acute poverty levels are found in Argentina.
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Antonio Héctor Elizondo, who has worked for the Gavina Foundation in Argentina since 2006. He serves as a dentist and orthodontist on the team.
Good oral hygiene is critical, as is the work of dentists and orthodontists in correcting the bite for healthy chewing, speaking and breathing. Continued dental assessments, oral health education, cleaning, extractions, and orthodontic treatment are vital to ensure that children maintain healthy teeth and are able to smile confidently.
He believes that fathers and parents are integral to the patient’s healing. As such, he facilitated family meetings and he developed a weekly guitar course for patients and their families.
Maria Teresa has been chosen as the recipient of the 2014 CPF Leadership Award. She will be honoured at the ACPA annual award luncheon in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday March 27, 2014.
The CPF Leadership Award recognizes an individual or group (non ACPA member) that has demonstrated exceptional service and leadership on behalf of individuals with cleft or craniofacial anomalies and is awarded at the Annual Meeting of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA).
Transforming Faces (TF) is a Canadian charity that works with local partners to provide multi-disciplinary cleft care in developing countries. Working with local cleft specialists and their patients, we are often inspired. Maria Teresa Torres de Salcedo, from Lima, Peru, has not only inspired us – but she has inspired many patients and their families with her humble and determined approach.
In 1997, Maria Teresa was in her last year of university when she met a child who had cleft lip and palate, a common birth anomaly. At first, she thought a surgery was all he needed. It quickly became apparent that the child needed access psychological support and speech therapy.
“While not a health care worker, I arranged for him to get care,” she explains. “After I helped that child, I started to receive phone calls from parents seeking the same type of help.”
“I helped one child and then I had a reputation as the person to go to!” she says, with a slight smile.
From then on, she began to co-ordinate care for children with cleft lip and palate. She witnessed the challenges that existed (and still exist) for children who want to access timely and adequate cleft lip and palate treatment.
She helped found Armonizar, a local organization that provides surgery and rehabilitation for children with cleft lip and palate. Peru has one of the highest rates of cleft lip and palate in South America, occurring in one of every 500 live births. From 2003 to 2012, TF proudly funded Armonizar and worked alongside its partners to provide rehabilitative treatments to children and adults with cleft lip and palate.
Pictured: Maria Teresa with Sayuri and her mother in Peru.
In 2007, Maria Teresa was compelled to create a for-profit called Asociacion Civil Splendor to assist parents. She saw that there was a huge need to create an organization that could provide parenting advice and support children with learning disabilities.
Cleft lip and palate remained an issue that she was passionate about and she saw that, despite available services, transportation was still a huge barrier to accessing health care. She decided to create a non-profit arm of Splendor in 2011, called KusiRostros, to specifically reach out to children with cleft lip and palate and their families in their own communities.
“There was a need to go to where the families were. For the families it is very expensive and difficult to get transportation to the hospital and pay for the services,” she explains.
In 2012, following a feasibility study and with the support of TF, KusiRostros began to provide decentralized care for families of children with cleft lip and palate in Lima, Peru through four community rehabilitation centers (CRCs) in impoverished areas surrounding Lima.
The feasibility study found that post surgery cleft care is available in main hospitals and health care centers. However, 71% of interviewed parents travel 2-7 hours to access cleft rehabilitation care. Factor in the cost in transportation and only 21% of families continue with post surgery treatment.
Maria Teresa, the co-ordinator, is joined by a dentist, speech therapist and nurse co-ordinator, as they travel to the CRCs on a weekly basis to provide medical, feeding and counselling support for families, close to home.
The goal of the CRCs was to treat 100 children in the first year of the three year pilot project. The response was overwhelming. A total of 200 children were treated and an additional CRC was added to meet demand. Families used to travel up to two hours to receive care and pay up to $12 to receive speech therapy. Now they only have to travel 20 minutes to receive free speech treatment for their children.
Photo: Maria Teresa with Sandra Faschlict at the 12th Cleft Congress in Orlando
Maria Teresa’s determined attitude to fill the gaps in care has also served as a beacon of inspiration for some of our other partners. She empowered a rehabilitation team from Argentina and helped us set up Fundacion GAVINA, which serves Tucumán and neighbouring provinces where the most acute poverty levels are found in Argentina.
“She has inspired and empowered many people. She has this innate entrepreneurial ability and a lot of vision,” said Esteban Lasso, TF’s Executive Director.
Maria Teresa has now set her sights on raising awareness. She is a founding member of the newly created Peruvian Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association because she believes there is a great need to train medical specialists and share knowledge.
In the future, she hopes to create a reference centre where more complex cases could be treated.
“I see that there are not just physical scars that they endure but emotional as well– and I am motivated to help,” she explains.
2013 was a huge year for us!
Check out some of our best blogs from the past year!
- SOUTH-SOUTH TRAINING: INDIAN TEAM VISITS MEXICO TO LEARN ABOUT SPEECH THERAPY
- ANDY MURRAY, PINKI AND ME – THE DAY MY WORLDS COLLIDED AND DREAMS CAME TRUE!
- ETHIOPIA: FOCUS ON SPEECH THERAPY
- MEET THE TF FAMILY!
- SPEECH CAMPS IN NORTHERN THAILAND: FORGING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS
- MEET NATTANON
- TRANSFORMING FACES ATTENDS THE 12TH INTERNATIONAL CLEFT CONGRESS!
- THE IMPORTANCE OF ORTHODONTICS
- 2012 ANNUAL REPORT: WE’VE REACHED A MILESTONE!
THANK YOU for your support over the past year!
THANK YOU for your support over the past year!
You have helped us transform lives & assist partners in 8 developing countries.
Our sincerest thanks goes out to the dedicated surgeons, audiologists , dentists, nurse co-ordinators, orthodontists, social workers and speech therapists who partner with Transforming Faces in China, India, Thailand, Ghana, Ethiopia, Peru and Argentina.
We would also like to thank you – our supporters! To those who donated, attended or sponsored our events, volunteered, emailed us, fundraised for us, read this blog, watched our videos, followed, liked and tweeted about us – thank you!
It was a huge year for us! We were grateful that we were able to assemble our partners in Orlando for the Cleft Congress, supported training for some of our partners, and transformed lives. We celebrated 10 years of great work in Ghana, made huge strides in mobile speech therapy support in India and we’re almost ready to pilot an important database in South America.
We have plenty more in store for 2014 – stay tuned for even more exciting news!
Transforming Faces decided develop an Electronic Medical Records and Workflow (EMRW) system as part of its monitoring and evaluation process.
For 14 years, TF has provided comprehensive rehabilitation to more than 10,000 cleft lip and palate patients using a model that empowers local medical specialists with many successes.
TF and its partners want to collect more empirical data to better assess the impact of our approach and to share this knowledge with the international cleft community.
We set out to do this in a way that would be most efficient for our partners and would allow them to devote more of their time to patient care rather than administrative work. With this in mind, we chose to create a workflow system that will allow efficient patient care, with data collection as a by-product.
Phase 1 (research into the experience of other organizations trying develop similar systems) and Phase 2 (research into the unique information management requirements of partner organizations and their individual members of staff) have been completed and have allowed us to look at the who, what, where, when and how of patient information gathering practices at each partner site.
- Standardization will be one of the most important – and difficult – steps of the process. Although each partner program is unique, some standardization of forms and processes must occur. This will provide a common language for reporting and enable data to be shared in a consistent way within and between health care settings, regions, and countries over periods of time.
- Partner buy-in and commitment over time is critical for project success.
- We need to pilot a revised and more standardized paper-based workflow before converting to a software-based solution.
- We know more about how cleft teams work in developing contexts and why they work this way.
- By discussing clinical workflows, practices, assumptions, and challenges in a team setting, team members report having a better understanding of the pieces that come together to form the whole of a child’s treatment. We have already seen that this improves teamwork and encourages partners to think critically about their processes.
- We are developing a plan for documenting and publishing these findings as part of our mission to contribute research to the broader cleft community.
- Over the next two years, we will pilot forms in project sites and will consistently engage with our partners on next steps before we acquire a system and roll out this system.
Want more information or have an idea? Email us!
Alternatively, please drop by our booth at ACPA’s 2014 conference to learn more about this project!