Cleft Lip & Palate

University of Illinois-Chicago Craniofacial Center Educational Resources: Animations to Support Caring for a Child with a Cleft

Dr. Bentele is the orthodontist for the Cleft Lip and Palate Team at Children’s Hospital Colorado – Briargate Campus. He is a member of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. The Association's directive is that, “Teams are comprised of experienced and qualified professionals from medical, surgical, dental, and allied health disciplines working in an interdisciplinary and coordinated system. The purpose and goal of Teams are to ensure that care is provided in a coordinated and consistent manner with the proper sequencing of evaluations and treatments within the framework of the patient’s overall developmental, medical, and psychological needs.” Dr. Bentele was trained at Ohio State University and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center for Complex Craniofacial Disorders and was formerly on a Cleft Palate Team at RAF Lakenheath in England.

The Team usually meets the first Thursday of each month and follow up visits are coordinated depending on the patient’s needs. The cleft palate team’s functions are to make sure that your child’s cleft treatment is staged at the appropriate times, provide an overall review of your child’s health from different perspectives and provide a forum for all team members to collaborate on their care with referrals as needed. In one location the patient and your family will have access to: Speech Pathology, Audiology, Pediatric Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Pediatrics, Oral-Maxillofacial Surgery, Occupational Therapy and Orthodontics. Clinical care is usually accomplished in individual providers’ offices or in the hospital setting as needed. For further information please contact us at (719) 268-7138 or the Pediatric Otolaryngology Department at (719) 305-9045.

The Children’s Hospital Team is comprised of the following individuals:

cleft lip & palate team
  1. Front row:
    • ENT clinic, Cindy Essells, RN;
    • Speech & Language Pathology, Ericka Wendorf MS, CCC-SLP;
    • Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Donald J. Hull;
    • Cleft Lip & Palate Team Coordinator, Melissa Raines, MSN, CPNP, APNP;
    • Pediatric Otolaryngology, Dr. Allison Dobbie;
    • Audiologist, Allison Cunningham, Au.D., CCC-A.
  2. Second row:
    • Pediatrician, Dr. Kirsten Nelson;
    • Social Worker, Scott Rucker, LCSW;
    • Orthodontist, Dr. Mark J. Bentele
  3. Not pictured:
    • Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Dr. Ronald Thoman;
    • Speech & Language Pathology, Sharon Rueter, MS, CCC-SLP;
    • Occupational Therapy, Ann Marsico, OTR;
    • Clinical Dieticians, Amy Heinrichs, RD & Jennifer Kintner, RD.

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