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Golinko to direct Children’s Hospital cleft, craniofacial care

Jan. 17, 2019, 11:08 AM


by Christina Echegaray

Michael Golinko, MD, has joined Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt as assistant professor of Plastic Surgery, medical director of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center and chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery.

Michael Golinko, MD

Golinko was previously assistant professor of Plastic Surgery and medical director of Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Craniofacial Program.

“We, as a department, are very excited to have Dr. Golinko join our faculty to lead the multidisciplinary Craniofacial and Cleft Surgery Center here,” said Galen Perdikis, MD, chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery. “We feel privileged to have been able to successfully recruit him and look forward to supporting him in his goal of establishing this as a premier, internationally recognized program.”

Golinko began seeing patients Jan. 2, in the Doctors’ Office Tower at Children’s Hospital.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Golinko on board, and excited about the energy and vision he brings to the table. His experience makes him well suited to lead the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Children’s Hospital and to further enhance it as a leading program in quality care for children and their families affected by cleft and craniofacial disorders,” said John W. Brock III, MD, surgeon-in-chief of Children’s Hospital, director of the Division of Pediatric Urology and Monroe Carell Jr. Professor.

The cleft lip palate/craniofacial team at Vanderbilt is certified by the America Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association. The interdisciplinary team is comprised of multiple specialists — Developmental Medicine, Dental, Hearing and Speech, Medical Genetics, Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery and Social Services — to meet the unique and complex needs of extensive facial and cranial anomalies.

Among the conditions treated are cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, severe jaw abnormalities and hemifacial microsomia, among others.

Golinko is setting up the framework to hold a once-a-month team clinic for cleft patients and a second monthly clinic for patients with craniofacial disorders. Working with a newly hired clinical coordinator, Claire Gargaro, PA-C, who previously worked at the University of Michigan, the clinic would allow patients to see their care team all in one day in one location. This patient-centered approach will foster family engagement and create a true community between providers and the children they care for.

“I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of a very strong, well-respected plastic surgery program and Children’s Hospital. Through passion and teamwork, we have the opportunity to become a leader in cleft and craniofacial care,” said Golinko. “Our goal is to have a very service-oriented and patient- and family-centered program, and to allow patients and families to have ‘one-stop’ to see all practitioners they need to in one day. The fundamental mission is to help children with cleft and craniofacial issues live their best lives.”

Golinko earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and then his medical degree from University of South Florida College of Medicine. He did general surgery residencies at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and New York University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Emory University. Prior to his hiring at Arkansas, he completed a fellowship in craniofacial surgery/pediatric plastic surgery at New York University’s Department of Plastic Surgery.

He has authored more than three dozen publications, presenting some of his work internationally, including in Mexico and Japan. Among his many awards and recognitions, in 2018 he was named a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, he has spent time on volunteer and humanitarian efforts in countries such as India, Nicaragua, Haiti, Thailand, Tanzania and others.

Golinko came to Nashville with his wife, Heather, who is a physician’s assistant, and their two dogs, a golden retriever and a great Pyrenees/husky.

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