Operation Smile

Mission Statement and About Operation Smile

• Mission Statement:

Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe.

• About Operation Smile:

Operation Smile, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 260,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. To build long-term self-sufficiency in resource poor environments, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their local communities. Operation Smile also donates medical equipment, supplies and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide centers.


• Operation Smile was founded in 1982 by Dr. William Magee Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen Magee, a nurse and clinical social worker.

• Operation Smile was launched with its first mission to the Philippines in 1982.

2012-2013 Statistics (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013)

• Operation Smile programs provided 21,474 surgical procedures to 17,143 patients – up by 15% from 2012.

• Operation Smile saw 22,389 children who returned for post-operative evaluations. By strengthening post-op programs, more patients are receiving necessary follow-up care and by developing better systems for processing and analyzing post-op data, Operation Smile is better able to measure the quality of surgical care, not only the quantity.

• 3,726 medical volunteers from 63 countries volunteered with Operation Smile to provide free care to our patients.

• 67% of surgeries were performed in-country by local volunteers during medical missions, or at centers.

• Operation Smile currently has 37 centers in 20 countries. Seven of them opened this past fiscal year – 5 in India, 1 in the Philippines, and 1 in Morocco.

• Operation Smile expanded into 34 new medical sites including Malawi, Mozambique (June 2014) and Mongolia.

• Operation Smile conducted 179 medical missions across 132 sites in 37 countries.

• Operation Smile packed and shipped 360 pallets of cargo worth more than $6 million dollars for 50 medical missions.

• 2028 people received life support training in 25 countries.

Urgent Need

• It is estimated that two billion people, or one-quarter of the world’s population, lack access to basic surgical care.

• Every 3 minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

• Children with cleft conditions may have difficulty in eating, breastfeeding, speaking, hearing or breathing properly.

• One in 700 children globally is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

• A baby born with a cleft has twice the odds of dying before celebrating their first birthday.

• There is a shortage of trained surgeons to handle the growing need and backlog of cleft cases.

• It takes as few as/as little as 45 minutes to repair a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

Impact to Date

• Operation Smile has provided over 220,000 free surgical procedures to children with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

• 5,400 medical volunteers from over 80 countries volunteer with Operation Smile to provide free care to our patients.

• Operation Smile is the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries.

• Operation Smile is leading research into the causes of cleft lip and cleft palate, and its prevention, treatment and surgical outcomes.

• To date there are approximately 900 registered Operation Smile Student Clubs worldwide – with a network of more than 18,000 students – building awareness, raising funds and educating others about core values of commitment, leadership and volunteerism.

• Through our partnership with the American Heart Association Operation Smile is one of the largest providers of life saving courses (Basic Life Support – BLS, Pediatric Advanced Life Support – PALS and Advanced Cardiac Life Support – ACLS) to resource poor environments.

• By supporting countries to develop their own fundraising capability, we have established financial sustainability. Today Operation Smile raises more than $110 million worldwide.

• Operation Smile increases overall surgical capacity and cleft treatment in communities where we work by providing education and training to health care workers in our program countries. We demonstrate industry leading clinical management practices and operate to the highest possible standards of care.

click to check the donator name list and the donation certificate of 2016 event

About Operation Smile’s Global Headquarters

• Operation Smile’s Global Headquarters is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is equipped with industry leading technology to operate as an educational hub connecting educators and trainees virtually.

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