Meet the Team
Call to make an appointment with a cleft and craniofacial specialist:954-276-1550
Cleft and Craniofacial Team
From your very first appointment, each member of your child’s care team makes you feel informed, empowered and included as you move together along your child’s cleft and craniofacial care journey.
Craniofacial conditions affect many different body systems. So, our team includes experts in multiple disciplines. These specialists work together to treat your child’s craniofacial condition with the most effective, efficient care plan.
What’s more, your child will benefit from a care team that contributes to advancing the field of cleft and craniofacial care. We assist in developing new surgical technologies with the KLS Martin Group, a local medical equipment innovator. Plus, our team educates the next generation of providers in medical education settings.
Your child’s care team includes experts from multiple disciples. Depending on your child’s specific needs, you’ll meet with a variety of experts, including:
- Audiologist – This specialist evaluates the child for possible hearing challenges.
- Craniofacial Surgeon – This specialty surgeon evaluates and corrects cleft and craniofacial anomalies.
- Craniofacial Orthodontist – This specialty dentist evaluates and corrects the position and alignment of your child’s teeth and jaw.
- Dentist – This specialty doctor evaluates and corrects problems with the mouth, teeth and gums.
- Family/Parent Advocate – This team member acts as your liaison with the cleft and craniofacial team, providing important support and resources.
- Geneticist – This specialist uses blood tests to evaluate your child’s condition for genetic causes and then provides your family with genetic counseling.
- Neurosurgeon – This specialty surgeon evaluates and corrects problems with the brain and skull.
- Nurse Care Coordinator – This team member coordinates and facilitates recommendations made during your child’s clinic visit.
- Nutritionist – This specialist evaluates and works to correct dietary and nutritional challenges.
- Oral-Maxillofacial Surgeon – This specialty surgeon evaluates and corrects jaw and dental anomalies.
- Otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) –This doctor evaluates the structure of your child’s ear, nose and throat and works to manage problems related to hearing and breathing.
- Pediatrician – This doctor specializes in treating children and coordinates care with the team and local providers.
- Plastic Surgeon – This specialty surgeon performs reconstructive procedures to soften facial and other differences caused by cleft and craniofacial conditions.
- Program Coordinator – This team member coordinates both clinical and non-clinical aspects of the Cleft and Craniofacial team for both patients and our providers.
- Psychologist – This specialist assesses the mental well-being and behavioral development of your child.
- Social Worker – This team member connects families to the local community and hospital resources based on social and financial needs.
- Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)/Feeding Specialist – This specialist evaluates and works to correct speech, communication and feeding challenges.
Meet Our Clinical & Support Staff
Natalie McElhaney AuD, CCC-A
Natalie McElhaney AuD, CCC-A, is an audiologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Dr. McElhaney has over 30 years of experience as a clinical audiologist. She gained invaluable experience working at a hospital-based neuro-otology practice in Pittsburgh for 14 years before moving to South Florida. She currently sees patients at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and The Cleft and Craniofacial Center. Dr. McElhaney received her Doctor of Audiology from A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona. She also holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Dr. McElhaney sees both pediatric and adult patients. Her areas of interest and expertise include pediatrics, children with special needs, newborn and infant hearing loss identification and intervention, monitoring for ototoxicity (hearing or balance problem caused by medication), and electrophysiology (test of the body’s electrical systems). She is committed to patient- and family-centered care, coordinating efficient care between providers and departments.
Ania Reyes, AUD, CCC-A
Ania Reyes, AuD, CCC-A, is an audiologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology and is part of the Cleft and Craniofacial team. Dr. Reyes received her Doctorate of Audiology at Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has been with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital since 2014 and works closely with the otolaryngologists. Dr. Reyes completes hearing evaluations utilizing age-specific testing techniques and works with children of all ages. In addition, she works with hearing aids, bone conduction devices and cochlear implants. Dr. Reyes is also a member of the Cochlear Implant team. She is passionate about providing the best care to her patients to ensure an optimal quality of life for hearing and communication.
Jose Larumbe, DDS
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Sheeka Lawkin-Hudson, MSN, RN
Sheeka Lawkin-Hudson, MSN, RN, is a pediatric registered nurse with more than 15 years of nursing experience providing care for the most vulnerable among us—children. Sheeka currently serves as the Nurse Care Coordinator for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial team. In this role, she acts as a liaison between families and their care teams. She helps families navigate the complexity of the healthcare system, coordinate treatment plans and implement recommendations for their children. Sheeka earned both a master’s and a bachelor’s in nursing from Florida Atlantic University. She is also an American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (ACPA) member.
Bio coming soon.
Johnice Hargadon, MSN, RN
Johnice Hargadon, MSN, RN, has been utilizing a multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate care for children and adults with special needs for the last 25 years. Johnice has lived most of her life in the South Florida area and joined the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital craniofacial team in 2014 as the Nurse Care Coordinator. She was promoted to her current role as the Program Coordinator in 2017. As the Program Coordinator, her goal is to educate and help guide the patient and their families to ensure that all aspects of care are addressed and coordinated to provide the best possible outcome. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from Florida Atlantic University. Johnice is an active member of both the Florida Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (FCPA) and the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and is involved in multiple committees.
Kristen DeLuca, MS, CCC-SLP
Kristen DeLuca, MS, CCC-SLP, is the lead craniofacial speech-language pathologist for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial team. She received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo and continued with her master’s in Communicative Disorders and Sciences at James Madison University. Kristen began working with children with cleft palate and craniofacial conditions in 2004 and has dedicated her career to this specialized field. Kristen makes presentations as a national expert on cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies, velopharyngeal dysfunction and feeding. She is an active member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and the Florida Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association (FCPA). She has also represented Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital on the board of FCPA as a speech counselor and vice president. Kristen understands the importance of multidisciplinary, family-centered team care. Kristen’s most rewarding experiences are working alongside the families we serve to educate and empower them to raise happy and healthy children.
Raquel Garcia, MS, CCC-SLP
Raquel Garcia, MS, CCC-SLP, is a trained craniofacial speech-language pathologist who is a core member of the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial team. She works in the acute care setting in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and pediatric cardiac intensive care unit. Raquel graduated with her master’s in communication disorders from Nova Southeastern University and her doctorate in speech-language pathology from Northwestern University. Her clinical interests include velopharyngeal dysfunction, upper airway disorders, infant feeding, neonatal care, neuroanatomy and dysphagia.
Diana Acevedo, MS, CCC-SLP
Diana Acevedo, MS, CCC-SLP, is a bilingual speech-language pathologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. Diana is an active team member of the Cleft and Craniofacial team, as she has extensive experience working with a variety of speech, language and feeding disorders and delays in diverse settings. She received her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and her master’s in communication disorders from Arizona State University. Diana has presented as an expert in cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies, resonance disorders, velopharyngeal dysfunction and feeding. She previously served as a clinical supervisor, training graduate students from Teacher’s College at Columbia University and Nova University Speech Pathology Program. She also leads the Social Communication Program at the Nova University Speech Pathology Clinic.
Yitzella Camargo, MA, CCC-SLP
Yitzella Camargo MA, CCC-SLP, is a bilingual English-Spanish speech-language pathologist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial/Outpatient Rehab Center and has her Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Yitzella is an active member of the Florida Cleft-Palate Association (FCPA), and the American Cleft-Palate Association (ACPA). Yitzella’s areas of expertise include diagnosis and treatment of speech and resonance disorders secondary to cleft and craniofacial conditions. Her clinical interests include speech-language development in bilingual Spanish-English speaking children, childhood apraxia of speech, gestalt language processing and early language development. Yitzella earned her Bachelor of Science and her Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. Yitzella completed her pediatric student externship, and her clinical fellowship year at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Cleft and Craniofacial Rehab Center under the supervision and mentorship of Kristen DeLuca, team lead speech-language pathologist.
Madeline LiBretti, MSW
Bio coming soon.