In celebration of Operation Smile’s 35 years, “Until We Heal” global campaign was recently launched.
What is Operation Smile?
Operation 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.
(L-R) Dr. William Magee, Jr., co-Founder and CEO, Operation Smile, Inc.; John Rankins, CEO, Optimo Global; Roberto J. Manzano, Country Director of Development, Operation Smile, Inc.; and Ricardo Lepatan, Deputy Director of Development, Operation Smile, Inc.
Operation Smile was born in 1982, and has since 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.
Angel Torres, former Operation Smile patient beneficiary with John Rankins, Founder & CEO of Optimo Global Inc. Rankins was inspired by Angel’s story that he offered to send her back to school after her cleft lip and cleft palate surgery by Operation Smile five years ago.
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.
— jenaspacio (@jenaspacio) March 2, 2017
Solutions and Partners to Improve Global Health
According to Lancet Commission, the lack of access to safe surgery is a global health crisis that affects billions of people in the developing world. For Operation Smile, every child born with cleft deserves access to safe, timely, and effective surgical care. However, there are many barriers to access care, such as lack of awareness of surgical options, inability to travel to a surgical center, and the significant need for more trained health care workers. This results to many children with untreated cleft conditions who are unable to eat or speak properly, attend school, make friends or grow up to secure a job. In the worst of cases, a cleft can be life-threatening. Operation Smile dedicates significant resources to identify and overcome these barriers to care.
Operation Smile Vision
Operation Smile Mobile Screening App | Patient Mapping App
As part of the campaign, Operation Smile is collaborating with partners to roll out a digital patient registry platform to connect people living with untreated cleft conditions to local care at its surgical sites. Strategic partnerships and patient-management programs are being established with local organizations like the Boys Scouts of the Philippines, who will travel to remote locations to register potential patients using this mobile app.
The Operation Smile Philippines Patient Mapping App is a mobile and web application developed by Smart Communications, Inc., together with Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center to help address OSP’s need to map potential patients for possible medical mission sites, and to keep track of patients’ case history.
Another key strategy for the organization and a call to action for the Until We Heal campaign is building local surgical capacity by increasing the number and quality of health care workers through education and training programs. The year will culminate with large-scale, simultaneous medical missions and training programs in 35 countries, impacting more than 5,000 patients and health care workers from November 1 to 17.
Ms. Georgina Hernandez, spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo, signs Until We Heal pledge. Looking on are: Max Edralin, founding president of Operation Smile Philippines (left) and Edith Villanueva, chairman, Operation Smile Philippines (right).
Get involved, sign the pledge or learn more about the movement, www.UntilWeHeal.org.