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Spokane Maxillofacial Program

Spokane, Eastern Washington Cleft Lip and Palate Maxillofacial Program at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.

This interdisciplinary team of specialists diagnose and treat hundreds of children each year in Eastern Washington and North Idaho with facial birth defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

The Spokane Maxillofacial program is a community-based collaborative effort between medical and dental providers, hospitals, schools, therapy services, Washington State University and Eastern Washington University, ensuring that children with a maxillofacial diagnosis get the best care possible.

Treatment Goals for Northwest Children with Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate or Other Craniofacial Anomalies:

  • repair the birth defect;
  • achieve normal speech, language and hearing; and
  • achieve functional dental occlusion with good dental health.

The team is also focused on optimizing psychosocial and developmental outcomes. At the same time, we focus on minimizing the cost of treatment and facilitating ethically-sound, family-centered care.

Spokane Maxillofacial Program Services

Upon referral, the Spokane maxillofacial program provides families with a team nurse coordinator who will:

  • Assess feeding and provide appropriate devices if needed.
  • Monitor growth and development.
  • Prepare the child and family for surgeries.
  • Provide care coordination.
  • Collaborate with the family’s primary care physicians and assess resources and insurance coverage to design the child’s care plan.
  • Assist families with understanding and implementing the treatment plan.

The coordinator also provides consultation to physicians, hospital staff and community providers to increase the awareness of the Parameters of Care for Cleft Lip/Palate or Other Craniofacial Anomalies and the Washington State Critical Elements of Care for Cleft Lip and Palate.

Spokane Maxillofacial Program Provider Team

Coordination of care helps families navigate the medical and social factors to be considered in treatment decisions.

Infants and children in with maxillofacial anomalies are best cared for by a multi-faceted team of specialists with clinical expertise in diagnosis and treatment of birth defects. Outcomes in surgical, speech, hearing, dental, psychosocial and cognitive domains are measured throughout the child’s life by the interdisciplinary team.

Sierra, a Spokane, WA Pacific Northwest baby before having cleft lift surgery maxillofacial treatment.
Sierra, one day old.
Sierra, a Spokane, WA Pacific Northwest baby after having cleft lift surgery maxillofacial treatment.
Sierra, at seven months.

Maxillofacial Program Nurse Coordinator

Laurie Vessey, RN, BSN

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons

Omar Husein, MD 
Elizabeth Peterson, MD
Shane Zim, MD

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

Nicholas Freuen, MD DDS
Bryan McLelland, DDS 
Mark Paxton, DDS 
David Gailey, DDS


John Gimbel, MS, CCC-A
Barb Peregoy, Aud, CCC-A


Providence Genetics Clinic
Joyti Khokhar, MSGC
Samuel Yang, MD


Jake DaBell, DDS
Ron Ellingson, DDS
Shannon Magnuson, DDS
Diane Paxton, DDS
Gerald Phipps, DDS
Bret Johnson, DDS


Michael Olds, MD
William Schmitt, MD

Pediatric Dentistry

Amanda Caswell-Burt, DDS
Jared Evans, DMD
Erin Johnson, DDS
John Ukich, DDS

Speech & Language Pathology

Amy Meredith, PhD, CCC-SLP
Julie Gimbel, MA, CCC-SLP
Eden White MA, CCC-SLP 

Social Work

Trenee Tunick, LICSW