Specialist to operate on kids with cleft lips, palates


After providing two resident doctors from the University of California, San Francisco, the Larry L. Hillblom Foundation, Inc. will again be shouldering the expenses for another specialist to come to Saipan in early April.

Dr. William Hoffman, a plastic surgeon from California, will be on Saipan from April 6 to 15. He will be one of the first doctors, through the Hillblom Foundation, to visit Saipan to provide surgery for children with cleft lips.

Consultations with Dr. Hoffman, along with the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. hospital staff, will be from April 6 to 8, while surgeries will be done from April 8 to 10.

In a notice to hospital employees and executives, Rowena H. Alturas, head nurse of the Commonwealth Health Center Family Care Clinic, requested them to bring patient referrals to the clinic due to the limited appointments. Alturas said that Dr. Hoffman will only see patients who have cleft lips and palates.

The Hillblom Foundation earlier provided funding for two resident doctors from UCSF to train, experience, and teach CNMI doctors during their stay on the island that ends this March.

In related news, CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña said another specialist from Illinois will be coming to Saipan on March 16. Dr. Charles Weingarten is an ENT specialist who specializes in the ears, nose, and throat and some related areas of the head and neck.

He will be available from March 16 to 27 at CHC’s Family Care Clinic. He will also be visiting CHC on a quarterly bases.

In an earlier interview, Muña said the hospital will make do for now with visiting specialists due to the hospital’s limited funds. “Even though we have limited funding to provide specific health specialists, we are trying to provide more of those by inviting specialists from off-island to conduct checkups on our patients,” she said.

Jayson Camacho | Reporter
Jayson Camacho covers community events, tourism, and general news coverages. Contact him at jayson_camacho@saipantribune.com.

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