I would like to establish the Pathfinder program in my area...what should I do?
Get your foot in the door.
One of the most important things to realize right off the bat is that being a parent of a child with a cleft or other craniofacial condition does not give you the credentials you need to establish a rapport with area hospitals and clinics. (You would think otherwise, wouldn't you?!) It is extremely important to work through the proper channels to launch your outreach program.
Your team coordinator can put you in touch with their established contacts...OB nurses, social workers in place at area hospitals, etc. If you do not feel comfortable approaching the coordinator, or your team is out of your immediate area, approach another trusted professional, like your plastic surgeon, speech therapist or pediatrician. It is much easier to approach a facility with the blessing of this professional than it is to walk in the front door and introduce yourself. Also, this will lend credibility to your cause, making your job a lot easier!
Ask you team coordinator or trusted professional for names of others who may be interested in becoming area Pathfinders.
If you need assistance making contact with area hosptials and teams, don't hesitate to contact us!
An Overview of the Pathfinder Outreach Network
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