Operation Smile is celebrating its 35th anniversary with new global initiatives that will help the organization reach even more children in need. William “Bill” P. Magee Jr., MD, and his wife Kathy founded Operation Smile in 1982 following a medical mission to the Philippines. Thirty-five years later it has provided hundreds of thousands of surgeries to children with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities via 160 annual medical missions at 29 international care centers.
To culminate the year-long anniversary celebration, Operation Smile is conducting 50 global initiatives in 27 countries from October 6 (World Smile Day) through the end of the year. These initiatives will provide cleft and dental care to 4,000 patients; train 500 healthcare workers in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Pediatric Life Support (PALS) and advanced education in plastic surgery, anesthesiology and nursing; and include 1,500 international medical professionals, who are donating their time and expertise to treat and train others.
“We are so proud that our global partners have joined the 35th campaign and share our vision. We believe in a world where no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery and we won't stop until we heal every child with a cleft,” said Dr. Magee. “With the help of thousands of dedicated volunteers and supporters, we embark on the next 35 years of restoring dignity to patients and transforming families around the world.”