Cleft Palate Film Production for Hearts In Motion Guatemala Mission
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Impoverished children and adults with cleft lip and/or cleft palate in Guatemala and neighboring countries travel to a clinic operated by Hearts In Motion (HIM), a non-profit agency that provides critical reconstructive surgery. Since 2011, WSU-Spokane’s annual weeklong mission trip empowers Speech and Hearing Science students to develop Speech Therapy skills. Language barriers further compound the limited science knowledge of the patients and their families. Previous student and faculty participants researched existing Spanish-language information about cleft and discovered resources for an audience with formal science education. As available materials do not appropriately engage the target population, they proposed creating an educational film for the surgical waiting room. The film production project was formed in mid-2015. The project manager interviewed previous trip participants to develop the scope, established a project timeline and recruited student volunteers. Production teams researched and generated the script, translated and narrated the text, recorded interviews or collected images. The project manager assembled the materials into a film. The final project illustrated the basics of speech, breathing and swallowing followed by the cause of cleft and the impact of cleft on those processes. A surgeon interviewee described the most common surgeries; a Speech Language Pathologist interviewee emphasized the need for Speech Therapy after surgery. The final section described advice for recovery and long-term success including pain management, nutrition selection and wound care. This project creatively supports the discipline of Speech and Hearing Science by educating, empowering and improving the quality of life for an underserved population. Initially available for the March 2016 Guatemala HIM mission trip, the scope of this presentation is limited to the project management aspect of the film. The socioeconomic status of the patients increases the burden of traveling between their residence and the HIM clinic; one element of the film is to explain the potential medical need of returning for additional care when follow-up is recommended by the surgeon. To assess the impact of film topics, student participants of the March 2016 trip will survey the audience before and after viewing the film, discussing their results in a future presentation.