Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic and Penn State Hershey Medical Center have enjoyed a strong, long-standing relationship, that began in 1970–and unofficially, much earlier–when Dr. Rusty Long first created Milton Hershey’s own dentures!
Three surgeons from Penn State Hershey Medical Center donate their time on Team Days to travel to LCPC and meet with patients. No financial support is provided to the Medical Center for the surgeon’s presence at the clinic, and we are thankful that Hershey allows the surgeons to make the trek to assist their LCPC patients.
Patients visit LCPC for pre- and post-surgery treatments. LCPC coordinates planning and post-operative care, while all surgeries are conducted at Hershey.
“Without that partnership, we could not do what we do,” says Prada. “It’s huge.”
One important interaction LCPC patients get the benefit from having is with Hershey ENTs. Because it is almost certain that children born with cleft palates will need ear care and ear tubes at some point, surgical services can be coordinated by LCPC with the ENTs and surgical department of Hershey.
Therapies can also often be performed at the same time so that children do not have to endure multiple hospital trips and separate procedures. Because all of the specialists are under one roof, many procedures can often be accomplished in one visit.
Dr. Tom Samson is one of the surgeons who volunteers his time to visit patients at LCPC and perform surgeries for them. “It’s extremely important for us all to be under the same roof to provide the highest level of care that we can,” he says.
Dr. Samson continues to work with LCPC for one important reason – people, both his patients and the group of people he gets to work with in Lancaster.
“At LCPC, it’s a group effort and no one is more important than the next,” said Samson.
“Our goal is to make patients whole again. That’s our mission for all our kids, regardless if they can pay the bill or not. It’s only the support of the people throughout the state that helps us continue to provide the level of excellent care for our patients.” –Dr. Tom Samson
LCPC depends on financial support from the community in order to uphold their mission—that no child will be turned away, due to their inability to pay. Therefore, LCPC remains exceedingly grateful for their partners across the state that support their mission.