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Meet the Craniofacial Team

Since each facial difference is unique, it takes the expertise of a multidisciplinary team of various medical, surgical and rehabilitation specialists to develop a systematic, comprehensive treatment plan for each craniofacial patient. The Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, Craniofacial Center's team provides a comprehensive evaluation of each child's special needs during the course of one appointment. Following the assessment, the team members will deliver a diagnosis and recommendations regarding treatment and comprehensive/continuous care.

Here are some of the specialties and people that will play key roles in your child's treatment at the Craniofacial Center.

Your Child:

Your child is the most important member of our team and will be the focus of all our attention.


Yes, you are also a very important part of our team. You will make sure your child comes to his/her appointments. You will learn how to feed your child, how to teach him/her new skills, and you will monitor his/her progress. You will be the link between your child and the team. Your input, observations, and concerns are important to the team.


The team's administrative staff is responsible for scheduling of appointments and all other administrative duties related to the Craniofacial Center. They are very knowledgeable regarding the team and will be able to refer you to the appropriate person for answers to any questions that you may have. Our administrative team includes Leyna Orta and Teresa Abregu.


The audiologist will perform hearing evaluations and will monitor any hearing problems during the Craniofacial Team visits, or more frequently if needed. Newborn children should have hearing evaluations soon after birth. Check with your pediatrician to make sure this was done. Our audiologists are:  Mike Bermudez, M.A., CCC-A, Bianca Castro, Au.D., CCC-A, Maria, Serrano, M.S., CCC-A, and Sandra Yampolsky, Au.D.-CCCA.

Children's Medical Service (CMS):

The Children's Medical Services Network (CMS) is a Medicaid managed care program for children with special healthcare needs. This program provides your child with a CMS Nurse Care Coordinator who helps you, in collaboration with the healthcare specialists, in providing for the care of your child.


The geneticist specializes in finding the reason why your child has a craniofacial anomaly. They will do a complete physical assessment and family history to determine any genetic causes. Our geneticist is Mislen Bauer, M.D. Our genetic counselor is Katherine Schain, M.S., CGC.


Our neurosurgeons are experts in working with children who have craniofacial anomalies involving the brain and nervous system. They work with the plastic surgeons and neuroradiologist to achieve the best possible surgical outcome. Our neurosurgeons are: John Ragheb, M.D., and Sanjiv Bhatia, M.D.


The team is comprised of a nurse practitioner who serves as the program coordinator and a team nurse who obtains patient vital signs and is available to answer questions during the clinic. The program coordinator will help you coordinate the care of you child and any other necessary services. The program coordinator is your primary contact for the care of your child and can provide you with information and answer questions that you may have. Our program coordinator is: Anna Pelligra, MSN, ARNP.


Our dentist will provide comprehensive routine dental care and monitor dental progress. Evaluation of teeth and facial growth will be made during team meetings and dental care will be provided in the Dental Clinic, located at the Nicklaus Children's Doral Outpatient Center.

Dental Implant Reconstruction:

The dental implant reconstruction physician is specially trained to support children who have craniofacial anomalies that may require dental implants, facial reconstruction, or bone grafting. They work together with the plastic surgeon and orthodontist.

Oral Maxillofacial Surgery:

The oral maxillofacial surgeon is specially trained to perform reconstructive dental and maxillofacial surgery for children with craniofacial anomalies.


The orthodontist is a dentist who is specially trained to straighten and align your child's teeth. Children with craniofacial anomalies usually need to have their teeth straightened as they get older. Our orthodontists are Phillip Kaner, D.D.S., Len Rothenberg, D.M.D., Idalia Lastra, D.M.D., Elaine de Roode, D.D.S., and Derek Sanders, D.M.D.


The otolaryngologist is the ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor who will monitor and manage your child for any ear infections, sinus, or hearing problems. Children with cleft palate will often have many ear infections and may require pressure equalizing (PE) tubes to prevent further infections. Our otolaryngologists are Octavio Carreño, M.D.; Sandeep Davé, M.D.; Andres Orjuela, M.D.; Michael Owens, M.D.; Rafael Antonio Portela, M.D.; Yamilet Tirado, M.D. and Fred Telischi, M.D.

Parent Advocate:

Our parent advocates are parents who, like you, have had a child with a craniofacial anomaly. They will share with you their experiences and offer valuable advice. If you are interested in becoming a parent advocate or speaking to a family who has had similar circumstances to yours, please contact the team coordinator.


Our team pediatrician and pediatric nurse practitioner, along with the Nicklaus Children's Hospital pediatric residents, will evaluate each child during his or her visit to the clinic. They will perform a complete physical exam and obtain a full medical history. Proper growth and development will be assessed by our team of pediatric specialists. Our team pediatrician is Mislen Bauer, M.D., who leads the group of pediatric residents.

Pediatric Psychology (Behavioral Medicine):

Our pediatric psychologist is a specially trained individual who is available to support you and your child. They will be able to provide strategies and skills to promote positive behavior and self esteem. Our psychologist is Laura O. Moreno-Chavez, PSY.D.

Plastic Surgery:

Our pediatric plastic surgeons are physicians who have extensive experience working with children with craniofacial anomalies. These are the physicians who are responsible for all corrective surgeries. Our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons are S. Anthony Wolfe, M.D. and Chad Perlyn, M.D.


Our prosthodontist specializes in dental appliances and implants.

Social Services:

Our social worker is responsible for assisting you and your family with any services you may need. She will assess all social aspects of the child's life (family life, school, behavior, financial status, insurance, etc.) and make appropriate referrals. Our team social worker is Evelyn Gonzalez, M.S.W.

Speech and Language Pathology:

Our speech and language pathologists will initially6 assist you with learning how to feed your infant. In subsequent visits to the team, the speech pathologist will evaluate speech and language, and will make recommendations that will help your child speak clearly. Our speech and language pathologists are: Lynn Graff, MA, MS, CCC-SLP; Jennifer Rodriguez, M.A., CCC-SLP;Michelle C. Prüss, M.S., CCC-SLP; Jo Ann Vargas, MA, CCC-SLP; Claryza Pujol, M.S., CCC-SLP; and Jeanette Perez, M.S., CCC-SLP.

Other specialties that work in concert with the Craniofacial Center include:


For more information about the Craniofacial Center, please call:

Phone: 305-662-8237
Fax: 305-663-8518
Toll-Free: 1-800-662-8502
Or email:

The Craniofacial Center is sponsored by Children's Medical Services and the State of Florida Department of Health

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