St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center
Watch a video about Sophia, a little girl who has undergone treatment at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital for her cleft lip and palate.
See Sophia now in this Town & Style feature.
Unique human qualities
Our appearance and ability to speak are unique human qualities that allow us to interact with others. This interaction is critical for children, as they are still developing their social identities and communication skills.
Children born with cleft lip-nose-palate and craniofacial conditions often have problems with appearance and speech. A pediatric plastic surgeon trained in craniofacial surgery can reshape the bones of the skull, face, and jaws to improve appearance and function, as well as the cartilage and soft tissues of the face, eyelids, ears, nose, lips, palate, and tongue.
The goal of St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center is to improve the unique human elements of the child: to look more normal, to have more normal speech, and to be able to function more normally in their growth and development.
Finding the best solutions, for individual needs
Each child is different and so each cleft or craniofacial diagnosis is also different. We are committed through every step, from evaluation, consultation, and innovation, to work for your child's individual needs.
A caring team to best care for your child
The St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center is directed by Dr. Alexander Y. Lin and Dr. Christina Plikaitis, plastic surgeons who specialize in cleft-craniofacial surgery, along with Joy Baltz and Alee Avery, our clinical nurse coordinators.
A multidisciplinary team approach includes our Head Shape Clinic with a physical therapist to work on neck muscle problems (torticollis), and the St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center with a full team including Speech Language Pathology specialist for evaluating and treating speech issues.
Open and direct communication
It's important for parents to understand their child's condition as completely as possible. Communicating with parents and children in a clear-cut and understandable way is an essential part of our mission.
We are designated an Affiliated Team by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA), the governing association of cleft-craniofacial centers.
Conditions we treat
Our multidisciplinary cleft and craniofacial team allows for your child to see multiple specialists for comprehensive care of these complex conditions.
Cleft Lip and Palate
Complex Craniofacial Syndromes
In situ Osteogenesis
Cleft Lip Repair
Cleft Palate Repair
Pharyngeal Flap/Sphincter Pharyngoplasty
American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association
Cleft Palate Foundation
Cleft Palate Feeding Video
Now in English, Spanish and Mandarin!
from the Cleft Palate Foundation
If you need bottles, please contact Joy.Baltz@ssmhealth.com.
Meet the Team
Alexander Y. Lin, MD, FACS - Director, St. Louis Cleft-Craniofacial Center
Christina Plikaitis, MD - Pediatric Plastic Surgeon
Jennifer Wofford, APRN PCPNP-BC
Joy Baltz, RN, BSN, Clinical Nurse Coordinator(email)
Maria Cabonce, MS, CCC-A
Dave Harris, PhD, CCC-A
Carole Mange, AuD, CCC-A
Dawn Roulanaitis, MS, CCC-A
Laura Ortmann, M.S., CCC-A
Richard O'Brien, DDS, MS, FACD - Prosthodontist
James G. Klarsch, DDS, MS - Orthodontist
Dan Stoeckel, DDS, MS - Pediatric Dentist
Hiroshi Ueno, DDS, MS - Orthodontist
Janna Webber, MA, CCA-SLP
Stephen Braddock, MD
Director of Pediatric Genetics
Katherine Christensen, MS
Alicia McGlaughlin, MSN, RN, CPNP
Joel Nadler, PhD
Rocio del Carmen Zeballos-Chavez, MD
Janna Webber, MA, CCA-SLP
For questions, to make a cleft lip/palate or craniofacial appointment or for more information, please call Joy at 314-678-2185 or email her at Joy.Baltz@ssmhealth.com.