In anticipation of the 8th International Congress on Cleft Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies, to be held in Singapore in 1997, Congress President S.T. Lee established a series of Task Forces comprised of geographically diverse members to compile, evaluate and make recommendations on several aspects of cleft and craniofacial care. These Task Forces reported their findings to the Congress attendees and at least one resulted in a peer-reviewed journal publication.
However, there was no subsequent continuation or follow-up until the 12th Congress held in the United States of America in 2013. Five Task Forces [addressing palate repair in speaking individuals, holistic outcomes, speech services where speech and language therapists are absent, speech assessment and collaborative studies beyond Eurocleft] were organized prior to the Congress. Each presented their work both in-person at the Congress and subsequently published in The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal and on the Confederation’s website (https://www.iccpca.org/publication.php) in order to share findings and stimulate discussion.
The organizing committee of the 13th Congress, held in India in 2017, continued some of the 2013 Task Forces, and established new ones [Research, Clefts Without Caries, Infant Care, Prevention] and discontinued some with a total of five taskforces. Again each Task Force presented their work both in-person at the Congress and subsequently published in the Journal of Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies.
The organizing committee of the 14th Congress continued the Task Force “tradition” with continuation of some [Speech, Cleft Without Caries] and reconfiguration of others [Global Cleft Team Registry, Epidemiology-Aetiology-Prevention, Patient Centered Outcomes, Safety in Neonatal Cleft Care]. There will be a new Task Force presentation format in Edinburgh with each Task Force having its own session consisting of a 30 minute presentation with Q&A followed by three ten-minute platform papers where possible related to the Task Force subject. This redesign will hopefully facilitate more focused interaction between the Task Forces and Congress attendees with specific interests in that Task Force’s subject. It is anticipated that the final reports of the Task Forces will become available either on the Web and/or in a publication.
Jeff Marsh Felicity Vidya Mehendale