After 15 years of affiliation with Lancaster General Health, the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic is operating on its own as of July 1.
LCPC Director Dr. Ross E. “Rusty” Long Jr. said in a news release this week that the organizations’ needs and strategies for long-term sustainability differed significantly.
“A small highly specialized clinic like ours had priorities that were better served with LCPC as an independent organization,” he said, noting that the challenging health care economy prompted the decision. The clinic hopes to strengthen its efforts to secure community leadership and monetary support.
A general practice residency in dentistry program that Lancaster General started at the clinic in July 2011 will relocate to SouthEast Lancaster Health Services, 333 N. Arch St., Lancaster. However, LCPC will continue to offer a full range of dental services to both patients with clefts as well as current and future patients interested in basic family dental care.
The nonprofit clinic is at 223 N. Lime St., Lancaster, and was founded in 1938 by Long’s grandfather. The news release said Lancaster General has provided financial and professional support to the clinic, and the relationship between the two organizations “has been positive for the clinic, its patients and their families.”
LCPC is one of only three full-service cleft palate clinics in Pennsylvania, with specialists in medicine, dentistry, speech pathology and audiology gathering under one roof to care for patients with complex conditions affecting the teeth, jaws and face. It serves about 150 new patients per year.