Vanderbilt Cleft and Craniofacial Program

"Helping children FACE the world through a team approach"

Welcome to the Cleft and Craniofacial Program at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. For over 30 years, our program has been a regional & national leader in personalized, ‘pre-natal to prom’ care of children born with facial differences. As the highest performing center for cleft related surgeries in the state, our highly trained surgeons, specialist and staff are dedicated to providing quality care and outcomes for cleft lip and palate patients.  We partner and collaborate with speech, hearing, dental and nutritional specialist as well as family emotional support. We are one of the only centers in the southeast region to offer Nasoalveolar Molding (NAM). NAM is an orthopedic appliance used to actively mold and reposition nose and mouth tissues before surgery.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has once again been named a national leader in pediatric health care, earning the distinction as the No. 1 pediatric hospital in Tennessee, and in a new regional ranking, sharing first place in the Southeast Region, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Children’s Hospital rankings.

The Vanderbilt program is nationally accredited for meeting the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association standards of care and is held accountable to national rules and regulations.

Our Team - compassion and caring
We have a unique team of specialists who personally help families and patients navigate your experience. Welcoming faces guide you through your clinic visits and potential surgeries. Clare Gargaro, PA-C, MHSA is our program lead who assesses the clinical and medical needs of the patients. Jennifer Tilton is our program coordinator who helps to ensure all visits and surgeries are well-coordinated. Families who request to see before and after photos can email our team at

Click here for more information about Cleft Lip and Palate

This video will help prepare your family for their first visit: “What to expect at your first Visit