The Japanese Cleft Palate Association started out in 1961 as the Japanese Cleft Palate Speech Therapy Forum. In 1970 this was dissolved and reformed as the Cleft Palate Study Group, then in 1976 it was restructured as the Japanese Cleft Palate Association. The Association has been operating in its current form for 41 years and currently has 3,280 members (as at March 31 2017).
The aims of the Association are to promote higher standards of expertise and skills among professionals engaged in the treatment and prevention of cleft lip and cleft palate conditions; to promote medical advances in the field; and to pursue research and training programs designed to raise the standard of medical care.
To this end, the Association conducts regular scientific meetings and presentations and publishes a dedicated journal as a means of educating members and encouraging dialog on the latest medical technology while at the same time promoting friendship and professional fellowship. The Association also works closely with other groups and organizations and runs training and accreditation programs for specialists in the field. As part of our commitment to training programs for younger professionals, this year we are launching a new scholarship scheme to provide overseas training opportunities for young researchers. We are also in the process of setting up our own dedicated accreditation scheme for cleft palate specialists. And we are expanding the role of the Ethics Committee, which tackles ethical issues around clinical practice, research, training programs and other work undertaken by the Association and its members.
The Japanese Cleft Palate Association is truly a multidisciplinary organization, with members drawn from a wide range of fields including orthodontics, oral surgery, plastic surgery, voice and speech, prosthetic dentistry, pedodontics, otorhinolaryngology and other dentistry fields. Cleft palate treatment often necessitates a range of procedures over an extended period starting from birth in areas such as cleft closure, suckling, closure surgery, speech therapy, ongoing monitoring of maxillofacial development and occlusion, and esthetic corrections. This can cause considerable stress and suffering for both patients and their families. The Japanese Cleft Palate Association is committed to working closely with medical professionals in a range of fields to further our aims of producing better outcomes for patients and their families, and in turn making a significant contribution to wider society.