American Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Association

committed to team care…

Wendy’s Water Cooler Chat

Wendy-Jo ToyamaACPA's 74th Annual Meeting was an inspiring event on many different levels. For me, the soaring Rocky Mountains that surround the Broadmoor stir a deep sense of creativity and connection – a perfect combination for the meeting.  Although the weather was uncharacteristically warm (no snow boots or overcoats required), those on the East Coast were not as fortunate.  We are grateful for the many intrepid presenters and attendees who persevered and joined us. Given the “bombogenesis” phenomena of winter storm Stella, we were fortunate.  Due to the storm, keynote speaker Rick Guidotti was not able to join us for our opening session, but fortunately joined us for the gala.  His work to erase social stigmas that people experience related to physical differences, including facial difference, was a powerful message for all.  If you were not able to join us, I encourage you to check out his TED Talk.

So, you may ask – did we just skip our keynote?  Have a hole in our schedule and confer fewer hours of CE? On the contrary, we were fortunate that Martin Lowery, scheduled to provide our Tuesday leadership seminar, changed his travel plans and extended his time with us. He delivered a keynote address, developed overnight, entitled the “Using a 20,000-Year-Old Brain in Modern Day Cleft Care.” He provided insights into how the brain works and awareness of its limitations; leading to a greater understanding of how we can better manage our relationships as leaders of teams and providers of world-class cleft care to our patients and families. For those of us behind the scenes – it was a reminder of how many aspects come together, some within our control and some outside of our control, to ensure a top-notch experience for our attendees.  Being flexible, staying calm and solving the problem on the run are skills that I am sure you use with your teams as well. 

The highlight of the meeting for your National Office Team is the opportunity to meet and interact with all of you. We share your passion for the work you do. It is our privilege and pleasure to provide this opportunity to connect with each other and enhance the care you provide through leading science, research and connection. For those who were not able to join us, we hope to see you next year at  ACPA’s 75th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA – where it all began.