Operation Smile Celebrates 35 Years Of Life-Changing Care

Thursday, November 9, 2017 General News
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UNTIL WE HEAL Campaign Concludes with Three Months of 50 Global Initiatives in 27 Countries, 1,500 Volunteers and 4,000 Treated

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Nov. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --Operation Smile reaches a major milestone! The organization is celebrating

and commemorating 35 years of offering free surgeries, 35 years of increasing access to health care, 35 years of changing lives.

Operation Smile was founded in 1982 by Dr. William "Bill" P. Magee Jr. and his wife Kathy 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. The organization has provided millions of screenings, patient interactions and consultations via 160 annual medical missions and at 29 international care centers. As a result of Operation Smile's commitment to education and training programs, this year 81 percent of the medical volunteer positions filled on our missions were held by health care professionals from low- and middle-income countries.

Looking to the future Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Magee stated, "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."

To culminate the year-long celebration, from World Smile Day Oct. 6 through the end of the year, Operation Smile will conduct 50 global initiatives that feature the cornerstones of its 35-year commitment to:

  • Achieve the best possible patient outcomes.
  • Provide education and training programs that improve patient safety and strengthen health systems.
  • Engage medical volunteers, elevating the quality of service.
  • Empower youth to create a compassionate world.

The 50 global initiatives will take place over three months in 27 countries and impact:

  • 4,000 patients, provided with cleft and dental care;
  • 500 health care workers, trained in Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Pediatric Life Support (PALS) and advanced education in plastic surgery, anesthesiology and nursing;
  • 1,500 international medical professionals, who donated their time and expertise to treat and train others.

Throughout the 35th anniversary year, Operation Smile's global UNTIL WE HEAL campaign has united partners around the world to advance access to safe surgery for all people with cleft conditions. The campaign creates platforms for activism, awareness, government engagement and the establishment of medical programs to create long-term solutions. So far, more than 9,300 supporters and world leaders have signed the UNTIL WE HEAL pledge.

In South Africa Operation Smile supporters, influencers and celebrities are celebrating the 35th anniversary by raising money and spreading awareness for Operation Smile via their #35Smilesin35Days campaign. In Peru student volunteers are advocating as Smile Change Makers, Agentes de Cambio in Spanish. They are collecting change to provide other children with access to safe surgery and they'll have the opportunity to see the effects of their fundraising as volunteers on medical programs in Lima and Puno, Peru.

Operation Smile Philippines was the first country to sign the UNTIL WE HEAL pledge with support from Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo who signed it at a medical mission in Cebu. The First Lady of Honduras Ana Garcia Carias de Hernandez also signed the pledge as part of her Vida Mejor campaign, which aims to advocate for the nation's women and children. Eight global leaders have signed so far.

"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 Co-Founder and President Kathy Magee.

About Operation SmileOperation Smile is an international medical charity that has provided hundreds of thousands of free surgeries for children and young adults in developing countries who are born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities. It is one of the oldest and largest volunteer-based organizations dedicated to improving the health and lives of children worldwide through access to surgical care. Since 1982, Operation Smile has developed expertise in mobilizing volunteer medical teams to conduct surgical missions in resource-poor environments while adhering to the highest standards of care and safety. Operation Smile helps to fill the gap in providing access to safe, well-timed surgeries by partnering with hospitals, governments and ministries of health, training local medical personnel, and donating much-needed supplies and equipment to surgical sites around the world. Founded and based in Virginia, U.S., Operation Smile has extended its global reach to more than 60 countries through its network of credentialed surgeons, pediatricians, doctors, nurses, and student volunteers. For more information, visit www.operationsmile.org.

CONTACTNicole Bell[email protected](757) 708-0379

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/operation-smile-celebrates-35-years-of-life-changing-care-300552984.html

SOURCE Operation Smile



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