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Includes specialty programs: Cranio-Orbital Meeting

Back to Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

James A. Lehman Jr. MD, Craniofacial Center

We are certified by the American Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Association as an approved treatment center. Our specialists have been trained in various medical specialties and have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of clefts and craniofacial abnormalities.

Specialized care.

From cleft lip and palate to congenital ear deformities, we specialize in correcting deformities of the face and skull in children. In fact, we treat more than 500 children – ranging from newborns to young adults – each year.

Our care goes beyond addressing your child's physical needs, but also his social and emotional needs. We time surgical reconstruction and medical interventions as part of an individualized treatment plan to restore appearance and function as quickly and effectively as possible.

The earlier treatment starts, the better in terms of reducing stress and anxiety and minimizing future health problems related to your child's craniofacial disorder.

Family-centered care.

We care for the entire family, as well as the patient. We have a Cleft Palate Family Network support group that offers education programs, information and guidance, and activities. The activities are aimed at bringing families together to share experiences, provide reassurance and help cope with their child’s condition.

Our craniofacial coordinator will also help you access various resources, including financial assistance through the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH), and programs and services in your local community.

Multi-disciplinary Care Team

In addition to our core Craniofacial team, several other teams participate in the care of our craniofacial patients:

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Contact Craniofacial Center


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Craniofacial Center
Akron Children's Hospital Craniofacial Center
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Akron, Ohio 44308-1062
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Map & directions

Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
Ananth Murthy
Ananth Murthy, MD, FACS

Director, Pediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Medical Director, James A. Lehman Jr., MD Craniofacial Center and Speech Resonance Clinic; Pediatric Craniofacial Surgeon

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Ashish Francis, MD

Pediatric Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Nicholas Kochenour, DMD

*Craniofacial Orthodontist; *by referral only


Niyant Patel, MD

Pediatric Craniofacial Surgeon

Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants:

Heather Larson, MSN, APRN-CNP

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner


Ashley Valentine, PA-C

Physician Assistant


Lois Wootton, BA, BSN, RN

Coordinator, Craniofacial Clinic

Other Providers:

Patricia Keenan, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech and Language Pathologist

Facts & Stats

Why choose Akron Children’s Craniofacial Center

Craniofacial 566 patients
Children seen at the Craniofacial Clinic in 2018
Craniofacial 3rd largest ped hosp Ohio
Largest Independent
Pediatric hospital in Northeast Ohio
Craniofacial one of 5 acpa
1 of only 7
ACPA approved Craniofacial teams in Ohio
Craniofacial stay reduced
Faster recovery rate
2.2 vs. 5-7 days stay for craniosynostosis procedure
Craniofacial reduced transfusions
Transfusions reduced to 25%
For craniosynostosis procedures
The Only Ohio Hospital with clinic
The only Ohio hospital with
An integrated Craniofacial and Speech Orthodontic Clinic
One Appointment
One appointment to address
Your cleft-related feeding, molding (NAM) & surgical needs

Specialty Programs

What Should Families Expect When They Come for an Appointment?

At Akron Children’s, your child’s health and safety is our priority. Please continue to bring your child for wellness visits, vaccinations or sick care appointments that keep children healthy. We want to assure you that we have taken additional precautions to ensure a safe environment for your child and family. The following are additional safety efforts, in addition to our normal cleaning protocols, that we are taking to help you be comfortable bringing your child to an appointment.

Limiting the Number of Caregivers and Face Covering

The number of caregivers permitted to accompany a child to an appointment is dependent on the department you are visiting. Everyone visiting an Akron Children's facility is asked to wear masks or face coverings, except for kids under 2 or those with sensory issues. Masks will be provided for visitors who do not bring their own.

Health Screening Station Ahead Sign

Checking In and Screening of Visitors

Akron Children's now offers Mobile Check-in to limit your exposure to others. You'll receive a text an hour before your child's appointment arrival time. Click the link in the text when you reach the Akron Children's facility for your child's appointment. You will receive a confirmation text that reminds you to wait in your car. Once we determine appropriate spacing is available inside the building, you'll receive a third text to let you know it's OK to come in for your appointment.

Immediately upon entering the building, your temperature will be taken, either by a thermal scanner or a greeter who will also ask you a few questions.

If you are in a waiting room, you’ll notice signs and a limited number of chairs. This is to remind our patients to keep 6 feet of physical distance between your family and others.

Precautions If You Suspect Your Child Has COVID-19

Call your child’s healthcare professional if your child is sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your health care professional will work with Ohio’s public health department and the CDC to determine if your child needs to be tested for COVID-19.

View all the safety precautions Akron Children's is taking.


The Craniofacial Center team cares for the entire family, as well as the patient. The center has a Cleft Palate Family Network support group offering education programs, information and guidance while sponsoring an annual holiday party, picnic and fundraisers. These activities bring families together to share experiences, provide reassurance and help cope with their child’s condition.

The craniofacial coordinator also helps families access various resources, including financial assistance through the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH), as well as programs and services in their local communities.

Some of the Conditions We Treat...

cleft lip and palate, maxillofacial and jaw deformities, Pierre Robin syndrome, craniofacial syndromes, crouzon and apert syndromes, Treacher-Collins syndrome, hemifacial microsomia, cranial shape abnormalities, craniosynostosis, plagiocephaly, congenital ear deformities, craniomaxillofacial trauma

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