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Operation Smile

Operation Smile provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. The non-profit envisions a world where no child suffers or dies from lack of access to safe surgery. Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children's smiles and transform lives across the globe. Driven by universal compassion for children, Operation Smile  works to repair childhood facial deformities by delivering safe, effective surgery and related medical care.   

The goal of the organization is to provide patient-centered care, ensuring that services are delivered in a way that creates equitable access and addresses obstacles that so often leave those with facial deformities marginalized and unable to gain access to much needed care. Additionally Operation Smile works to:

  • Alleviate bottlenecks and barriers to increasing surgical care, by supporting health systems strengthening efforts and increasing patient demand by removing financial, social and geographic obstacles that block care seeking.  

  • Apply  a “diagonal” approach by delivering surgical care that is integrated with the health system while also making investments in the broader health infrastructure of the community.

  • Adhere to Operation Smile’s Global Standards of Care in order to bring the safest and highest quality of care to every child, every time.

  • Foster global volunteerism in health as an inspiring force creating sustainable and lasting impact in the most underserved communities around the world.

  • Increase human resources for health through training and education, expand the concept of comprehensive care and support the development of surgical services more broadly within health systems.

  • Foster collaboration, partnerships and philanthropy to help solve the lack of access to surgery and resulting death and disability.

  • Innovate, leverage and deliver technologies required to increase health gains in resource poor environments.  

  • Lead research into the causes of cleft lip and its prevention, treatment, and surgical outcomes.

  • Cultivate young leadership, ensuring any gains in surgical delivery and in health are perpetuated in the future through knowledgeable, aware and humane leadership.

For more than 30 years Operation Smile has worked to reimagine what the world would look like if every child in a resource poor environment had access to surgical care.  From the beginning, we had the audacity to believe that it was possible to bring high quality surgical care to places where many individuals had never even visited a doctor. Operation Smile has created local foundations to foster ongoing care and self-sufficiency in close to 40 countries, is present in over 50 countries and currently has credentialed volunteers from over 80 countries.  The organization has worked in over 50 countries including the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.