Catherine de Blacam is a plastic surgeon with special interest in cleft surgery and paediatric plastic surgery. A graduate of UCD, she completed her specialist training in plastic surgery in Ireland, as well as an Aspire fellowship in cleft surgery at the Dublin Cleft Centre.
In addition to her clinical work, Catherine has a keen interest in patient-reported outcomes and clinical research. She was awarded a MD in molecular biology from RCSI and completed a clinical research fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
David Orr is a plastic surgeon with a special interest in cleft surgery and paediatric plastic surgery. He qualified from Trinity College, Dublin in 1986 and, following basic surgical training in Ireland and a research fellowship in surgical oncology in Cardiff, trained in plastic surgery in London, Oxford and Manchester. He spent a year in fellowship training at the Australian Craniofacial Unit and the Royal Adelaide Hospital before returning to Ireland as a consultant in 1998.
Cleft Services Manager
Laura qualified as a General Nurse in Waterford and completed her Paediatric Training in Temple Street Hospital (1991). After graduating she continued to work in Temple street as a staff nurse in a medical/surgical ward before progressing to CNM 2 managing a busy surgical ward.
In 2005 she joined the Dublin Cleft Centre team to coordinate cleft services in St. James's Hospital, CHI Crumlin and since 2010 services in Galway. She completed the Nurse Specialist Course in Nottingham in 2008.
Kirsten trained in Dublin and Texas and now leads oral health services in cleft care in CHI at Crumlin. She provides oral health care for young people with clefts and other medical conditions, and trains junior dentists to provide the best care possible. She also works closely with the HSE dental services to optimise oral health care for young people with clefts in the community.
Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)
Orla trained in the UK and worked within the NHS for 5 years. She worked as a Specialist Speech & Language Therapist within a community peadiatric team where she developed a clinical interest in cleft. Orla joined the cleft team at CHI, Crumlin in November 2020 where she is currently employed full-time as a Senior Speech & Language Therapist. She works with children aged 5 years and under who have communication and/or feeding difficulties related to cleft lip and palate. She also assesses, diagnoses and treats patients with nasal sounding speech that is not associated with cleft palate. Orla works as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide a comprehensive programme of care to each individual.
Senior Counselling Psychologist
Katerina is a Senior Counselling Psychologist with the Cleft and Craniofacial team in CHI@Temple Street and Crumlin. She qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 2018 and worked in adult and adolescent mental health services in both community and hospital settings in Ireland before she joined the cleft team in 2022.
She enjoys being able to meet and work with families and young people born with a facial difference, to promote wellbeing, and to support people in clinics and through any treatment, by addressing a range of psychological challenges that may come up. She works closely with other members of the cleft team to ensure that patients get the psychological support they need, when they need it.
Senior Speech and Language Therapist
The specialist speech and language therapists (SLTs) work with children and adults who have communication and/or feeding difficulties related to cleft lip and palate. They also assess, diagnose and treat patients with nasal sounding speech that is not associated with cleft palate. SLTs work as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide a comprehensive programme of care to each individual.