A relatively new craniofacial care center for children at New York Health + Hospitals / Jacobi received a significant accreditation.
The New York Health + Hospitals / Jacobi Congenital Craniofacial Care Center recently received accreditation from the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, achieving the national organization’s ‘stamp of approval’ for the first time since the center opened two years ago.
According to a Dr. Eugene Sidoti, the center’s director, the unit is the only one in the borough to be certified by the ACPA, though other hospitals perform this type of work without certification from this group.
The doctor said that typically patients are referred to the unit as infants and most have either cleft palates or cleft lips.
These abnormalities are caused by a variety of factors, including genetics in some cases, but risk can often be minimized with good pre-natal care and by other methods, he said.
Since its founding, the center has gathered the necessary resources to treat patients with head or face anomalies more efficiently, he indicated.
“They need a comprehensive kind of care because it is not a simple abnormality,” said the doctor, adding that the treatments require a coordinated effort.
Prior to the opening of the service the hospital had treated craniofacial or cleft palate care patients by bringing together a loose association of the various needed services, said the doctor.
Since the founding of the center, Jacobi has put in place a formalized organization of needed services to better coordinate care and make sure that every patient gets the services they need, said Sidoti.
“This was a paradigm that was developed nationwide, and we felt it was better for our patients to do it in this way if we could,” said Sidoti.
The center is the only one of its kind in the NYC Health + Hospitals public hospital center, he said, though city hospitals do treat the condition and have partnerships with other medical providers.
“We have about 45 to 50 patients currently on our roster, and that is two years worth of accumulation; we add approximately 20 to 25 patients per year,” said Sidoti, adding “Most of those patients start out as infants and we see them through to adulthood, so they will be with us for awhile. ”
Most of the patients come from the borough, he said.
Being certified by ACPA has benefits for the patients, and is helpful for New York Health + Hospitals / Jacobi in highlighting the center.
“(The accreditation) means that we get national recognition by the ACPA both online and in their materials as a recognized center,” he said, adding “It gives patients the knowledge that they are going to a center that has been accredited and vetted by a recognized organization.”
The accreditation assures patients that Jacobi’s center is being overseen and that over time the medical staff maintains a certain level of expertise and care for their patients.
Sidoti has worked at the hospital in the plastic surgery department since 1996, he said, and also works in dentistry.
To learn more about American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association visit www.acpa-