Our Team

Dr. Sherard Tatum, Surgeon & Medical Director

Dr. Sherard Tatum is the Medical Director of our team. He joined the staff at Upstate Medical University Hospital in 1992 and has dedicated his career to the care and research of cleft and craniofacial disorders.

Dr. Tatum earned his medical degree at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He continued on to his residency in Otolaryngology (Ears, Nose and Throat) at the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. After completing his residency training, he completed two fellowship years, one in Craniomaxillofacial Surgery at the University of Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany; and one in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of California at Davis Medical Center. He is Board Certified in both Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Tatum has also taken his expertise overseas to help children born with cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial abnormalities in El Salvador, Ekaterinaburg, Russia; Linlyi, China; Ecuador; and most recently Saigon, Vietnam. He has also traveled to Zagrab, Croatia to do reconstructive work on injured soldiers.

Eileen Marrinan, MS, CCC, MPH has been the Director of the Central New York Cleft and Craniofacial Center since 2002.  She received her Master’s of Science in Speech Pathology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her Master’s of Public Health degree from Harvard University.  She was a member of the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Children’s Hospital – Boston for over 15 years.  Eileen has conducted clinical research and published peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the area of cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial anomalies.  She has lectured nationally and internationally in these areas. Eileen has taught Cleft Palate and Craniofacial graduate level courses at a number of universities and currently at Syracuse University.

Patrick Smith, DDS

Patrick Smith, DDS is a graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Dentistry and completed his Pediatric Dental Residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Surgery/Dental Department and is the Program Director of the Dental Division. Dr. Smith provides operative dentistry services to children followed in our Center.



Joan Pelligrino

Joan Pelligrino, MD joined the Department of Pediatrics at Upstate in January 2005. Dr. Pellegrino graduated from Upstate Medical School and completed her pediatric residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. She then completed a fellowship in Medical Genetics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she worked in a neurogenetic laboratory. Before moving to Syracuse, Dr. Pellegrino worked in central New Jersey for several years and was actively involved in a regional Craniofacial Clinic. Dr. Pellegrino is the Director of the Inherited Metabolic Diseases Specialty Clinic at Upstate and works with the Craniofacial Clinic.

Ryan Miller

Ryan Miller M.S. joined SUNY Upstate in the spring of 2007. A native of Syracuse, he is a graduate of Cornell University. He worked in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry before returning to school to study genetic counseling. He received his Masters degree in Genetic Counseling from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In addition to the CNY Cleft & Craniofacial center, he also provides genetic counseling for the general Genetics clinic, Inherited Metabolic Diseases Specialty Clinic, and Cystic Fibrosis Center at SUNY Upstate. Ryan is a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.


Leon Noël, MD

Leon Noël, MD is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the University of Ottawa College of Medicine. He completed two years of Internal Medicine training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, and three years of Ophthalmology training at the University of Ottawa. He then undertook a fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Children' Hospital National medical Center in Washington, DC. He later returned to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, where he attained the rank of Professor of Ophthalmology. In 1995, Dr. Noël joined Eye Consultants of Syracuse.

Walter Merriam, MD
Steven Merriam, MD
Pediatric Ophthalmologist
1810 Erie Boulevard East
Syracuse, NY 13210
315-422-4321


Anthony Mortelliti, MD

Anthony Mortelliti, MD is a graduate of Cornell University, and Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. He obtained his Otolaryngology degree from the Department of Otolaryngology & Communication Sciences at the SUNY Upstate Medical Center. He then completed a fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Cincinnati Children's Children's Hospital. He is currently Director of the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at the SUNY Upstate Medical University. He is a member of several societies, including the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, the American Bronchoesophagological Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck surgery, and the American College of Surgeons.

Jeffrey VanTassell, MS

Jeffrey VanTassel, Au.D. is the team audiologist.  He has been providing audiology services to the Central New York Cleft and Craniofacial Center since 2005. He received his MS in Audiology from Syracuse University in 1996 and his Au.D from Arizona School of Health Sciences in August 2003. Prior to his employment at CDU, he has held positions with Newport Audiology Centers in Los Angeles, specializing in hearing assessment and hearing aid fitting/rehabilitation, as well as Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, NY where he worked in close collaboration with the Otolaryngology Department. He is currently the coordinator for the University Hospital Cochlear Implant Program and a staff audiologist for the University Hospital Communication Disorders Unit.

Jill Merrow, MA CCC-SLP

Jill Merrow, MA CCC-SLP is our feeding specialist. She provides pre- and postnatal education and interactive feeding assistance for families whose infants and children experience cleft and/or craniofacial disorders. After the center visits, she collaborates with regional care providers to monitor growth and nutrition.

Jill earned her M.A. from San Diego State University in 2001 and completed her Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY) at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey She has lectured on pediatric feeding and swallowing to area physicians and community speech-language pathologists. She also serves as the feeding specialist for the Center for the Diagnosis, Treatment and Study of Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome. Jill also specializes in aural (re)habilitation following cochlear implantation.

Community-based Dental Care Providers

The Central New York Cleft and Craniofacial Center has a unique and exciting dental and orthodontic component. Community dentists and orthodontists (who often provide local treatment for the children) regularly participate in our team evaluations. As a result, the specific dental and orthodontic treatment plan is clear and carefully coordinated with other medical and surgical care.

The community based dental providers currently participating in our team evaluations are:

Scott Dillingham, DDS

Scott Dillingham, DDS, is a graduate of the University of Buffalo School of Dentistry and completed his Pediatric Dental Residency at Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a diplomate of the American Orthodontic Society and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He has served as President of the New York State Association of Pediatric Dentists, the American Orthodontic Society, and the American Orthodontic Society Foundation. He is currently a consulting editor for the Journal of General Orthodontics as well as a Senior Instructor for both the International Association for Orthodontics and the American Orthodontic Society.

Dr. Dillingham is the developer of the Dillingham Habit Expansion TM Appliance Series. His professional memberships include: Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the National Dental Honor Society; American Dental Society; American Association of Functional Orthodontics; International Association for Orthodontics; American Orthodontic Society; American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; American Society of Dentistry for Children; and the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Dillingham has presented lectures at national meetings for the: American Orthodontic Society; International Association for Orthodontics; American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; the American Society of Dentistry for Children; as well as for several state pediatric dental and state AGD societies in addition to numerous dental study clubs. He practices pediatric dentistry in Fayetteville, NY and has been lecturing in orthodontics and pediatric dentistry for the past 21 years.

8016 E. Genesee Street
Fayetteville, NY 13066
Phone: 315 637-6961

  • ©2006 Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics for All Ages
William Caryl, DMD

William Caryl, DMD

earned his doctorate degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Dentistry. He completed his residency in orthodontics from the Loyala University of Chicago School of Dentistry. He has been practicing orthodontics at his facility in Camillus, NY for 3 years. Dr. Caryl is a member of several organizations, including the American Association of Orthodontists, the Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, and the Fifth District Dental Society.

5102 West Genesee Streeet
Camillus, NY 13011
Phone: 315 487-0744

Our Philosophy

Our approach is to include the parents, referring health care provider and older child by providing open communication to maximize the child' physical and emotional well being while minimizing the impact of the interventions. We involve local providers from the patient's home, whenever feasible, in the patient's care.

Our mission is to provide top quality care to our patients optimizing outcomes and conducting research to further enhance the quality of our care.