Sunday, 1 December 2019

Smile Train Launches A Series Of Cleft Lip Surgeries To Give Kids Perfect Smiles!

Smile Train is a nonprofit organization and charity providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates.


Headquartered in New York City and founded in 1999, Smile Train provides free corrective cleft surgery in 87 countries, training local doctors and providing hospital funding for the procedures. According to Forbes magazine, Smile Train is the 72nd largest charity in America.

Smile Train was created in 1998 by Brian Mullaney and Charles Wang, who had previously worked with Operation Smile, another charity focused on correcting cleft lips and palates. They felt the most efficient way to provide cleft surgery was to train and support local doctors rather than to fly in Western doctors to provide surgeries in poor, developing countries. Local doctors would also be able to provide care year-round rather than the limited engagements of the "mission-based" model.

In 1999, Smile Train began providing corrective surgeries in China. The charity worked with the then-American and Chinese presidents, George H.W. Bush and Jiang Zemin, in the planning of Smile Train's first operation in China. As of 2013, the charity had provided approximately 300,000 corrective surgeries in partnership with 397 local hospitals within China.

Smile Train began working in India in 2000. In 2011, Aishwarya Rai, a Bollywood actress and former Miss World, became Smile Train's first goodwill ambassador. By 2013, Smile Train was conducting 50,000 corrective surgeries in India annually.
Smile Train Launches A Series Of Cleft Lip Surgeries To Give Kids Perfect Smiles!

In 2006, Smile Train co-founded the Pan African Congress on Cleft Lip and Palate. The charity also funded the 2008 Pan African Anaesthesia Symposium.

In October 2010, Smile Train experienced a major leadership change which included the departure of Mullaney and other top executives.

Smile Train unveiled a new advertising campaign, "The Power of a Smile", in April 2014.[13] The campaign featured work from Kátia Lund and photojournalist Alex Webb, and coincided with the release of a new organizational logo.[13] That same month, Smile Train also held an event at the Barclays Center to celebrate its millionth cleft operation.

Smile Train and Operation Smile: In early 2011, Smile Train and Operation Smile announced the two charities would merge, followed three weeks later by announcements the merger had been aborted, Smile Train having cancelled the union. Smile Train's board also named Priscilla Ma the executive director of the organization, while other board members and directors stepped down.

In 2009, Smile Train initiated an advertising campaign in the Richmond Times-Dispatch highlighting Smile Train's attempts between 2006 and 2009 to donate nearly $9 million to Operation Smile, the organization Brian Mullaney had split from in 1998 in what Mullaney described as a "messy divorce".

In the ad, Mullaney contended Operation Smile was refusing money that could benefit children, later calling the situation "shameful"; Mullaney also noted that he respects that in some countries need overwhelms available doctors and he had "newfound respect for what Operation Smile does".

The Virginian Pilot outlined the history and differences between the two organizations and indicated Mullaney wanted the two organizations to reconcile. At the time, Dr. Magee of Operation Smile declined a newspaper interview, and Operation Smile formally responded to the ad campaign, saying the two organizations "have different operating philosophies and business ethics", and that Operation Smile would continue foregoing donations from an "unproductive relationship".

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