Craniofacial Collaborations

Partnership helps Shriners Children’s Ohio treat complex craniofacial cases

Families are coming to Dayton, Ohio, from across the world because of medical advancements made through the hospital-within-a-hospital collaboration between Shriners Children’s Ohio and Dayton Children’s Hospital. The partnership allows our physicians to treat some of the most complex craniofacial conditions, including Crouzon and Apert syndromes.

“We are starting to mesh together, working as one team,” said Chris Gordon, M.D., a plastic surgeon who works for both hospitals. “We can use the resources at Dayton Children’s in a way that leverages what we have at Shriners Children’s Ohio.”

Further advancing progress

That collaboration already shows benefits for treating these complex cases, many which involve relieving pressure in the brain that affect vision, hearing, balance and cognitive abilities.

A big part of the equation is Rob Lober, M.D., a neurosurgeon who works for Dayton Children’s. Drs. Gordon and Lober began collaborating in 2022 when they performed a complex separation of conjoined twins that garnered national attention.

“We’re developing techniques to address these problems earlier, them before they cause other problems,” Dr. Lober said. We are going to revolutionize how these kids are treated.”

An integrative approach to Crouzon syndrome

Part of that treatment plan includes the multidisciplinary approach which allows for collaboration among various specialists, such as audiologists, neurosurgeons, ophthalmologists and dietitians. Ronald McDonald House, across the street from both hospitals, also provides long-term housing options.

Debby-Ann brought her son MJ, a 15-year-old with Crouzon syndrome, from Jamaica because of the hospitals’ work. She saw a massive change in her son just two months after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain that was impacting his mobility, vision, cognitive skills and more.

“Dayton Children’s, the Ronald McDonald House and Shriners Children’s are an amazing team,” she said. “When we arrived, the whole team met, and I no longer felt lost. It feels like a family.”