Learn about craniofacial birth defects, care they require

April 30, 2009 —

Dylan’s Smile, DMU bring together expert panel for free event open to public

(Des Moines, IA) – You are invited to Des Moines University Friday, May 8 at noon to learn about craniofacial birth defect treatments and the medical care they require. The event is free and open to all.

“Most people do not understand the complex and lengthy procedures and therapies required for a child with cleft lip and palate. We are pleased to bring together such highly regarded medical experts for this event. It will be educational for our students, staff and the public,” said Nancy Thompson, director of community relations at Des Moines University (DMU).

The presentation will be in the Student Education Center auditorium, 3300 Grand Ave., in Des Moines. There is a cafeteria in the Student Education Center if you’re interested in purchasing lunch to eat during the event.

DMU has partnered with Dylan’s Smile for this event. Dylan’s Smile is a Des Moines-based organization created to support families with children who have craniofacial deformities. The non-profit builds confidence through camaraderie with the goal of instilling hope and pride in every family. From donating a book to children with facial birth defects and distributing teddy bears pre-surgery to networking families for support, Dylan’s Smile spreads support throughout Iowa and around the country.

“Dylan’s Smile is such a wonderful organization supporting many families who need encouragement and support. We are pleased to partner with them for this special event and hope it provides insight to many,” Thompson added.

For more information about DMU, visit www.dmu.edu. For info about Dylan’s Smile, visit www.dylanssmile.com.

The panelists include the following:

Daphne Christensen, founder and president, Dylan’s Smile

W. Dale Franks, Jr., M.D., craniofacial surgeon, The Center for Craniofacial and Children’s  Reconstructive Surgery at Mercy Hospital

Neil T. Mandsager, M.D., FACOG, perinatologist, Perinatal Center of Iowa

Mary Jo Staniger, R.N., craniofacial coordinator, The Center for Craniofacial and Children’s 
Reconstructive Surgery at Mercy Hospital

Thomas G. Wilson, D.D.S., pediatric dentist, Thomas G. Wilson, D.D.S., P.C. in Urbandale

Leah Woods, M.A., CCC-SLP, speech therapist, Mercy Medical Center – Des Moines

Eytan Young, M.D., director of Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, ENT Clinic of Iowa

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Des Moines University (DMU) is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences, anatomy, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions.


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.