• 2017 Annual Report

A Letter From Our Co-Founders


Dear Friends and Supporters,

When we first traveled to the Philippines in 1982, hundreds of children and their parents approached us in tears. Immediately, our hearts shattered. The small medical mission we were with could only provide surgery for 40 children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. Without a plan to return, the anguish we saw in their eyes was unforgettable.  

We didn’t have a grand plan at the time, but we knew we had so much more to give. It was then that we made a promise to return. That promise became a commitment to provide safe surgical care for people in places of need. Courage was needed to take on this challenge. As that courage was catalyzed by caring people all over the world, Operation Smile came to life.

In the 35 years since, we’ve delivered hundreds of thousands of life-saving surgeries provided by compassionate medical volunteers and caring donors from around the world. Why go to these lengths? We believe that patients and their families deserve excellence in surgical care, no matter where they call home. Through each new smile, shame is replaced by confidence. Rejection is replaced by acceptance. Fear is replaced by love. 

Our story started with courage, and courage is still needed to ensure a world where dignity and health are improved by safe surgical care. Through our expertise in treating cleft conditions, we are poised to bring this vision to more people and more places than ever before. We’re excited to share the highlights and milestones that Operation Smile was able to achieve in 2017 and hope you’re as inspired by them as we are.

Thank you for your continued support, generosity and compassion. 

With gratitude,

Dr. Bill Magee Jr., Operation Smile Co-Founder and CEO
Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-Founder and President

I Deserve

Children with cleft conditions deserve love, respect and dignity. They deserve the right to pursue a future full of opportunity. They deserve to be called by their name and not their condition.


Everything we do serves to further our mission.

Through our expertise in treating cleft lip and cleft palate, we create solutions that deliver safe surgery to people where it’s needed most.

No one should have to live with the burden of an untreated cleft lip or cleft palate. Yet in all too many places around the world, surgery is inaccessible or unavailable. That’s what drives our volunteers and staff to bring the highest quality of care to our patients at our care locations and medical missions. We create lasting impacts not only on the people we serve, but on entire health systems through our model of comprehensive cleft care and training and education programs.

This is how we’re changing the world.



Patients Healed

We provided more than 21,000 patients with surgery and dental care last year. Since 1982, we've helped more than 270,000 people receive life-changing surgical care in their communities.


Patient Interactions

We provided more than 415,000 patient interactions, including patient health screenings, operations and post-operative care at medical missions; dental screenings and procedures; and operations and consultations at care locations.


Value of Donated Medical Care

Last year, 3,775 medical professionals from 57 countries filled 6,024 positions, and donated 414,624 hours of time valued at $34,883,121.


of Volunteer Positions

We're proud that 81 percent of the medical volunteer positions filled on our missions last year were held by health care professionals from low- and middle-income countries; a majority of them received training and education from Operation Smile.


Medical Missions

We conducted 152 medical missions across 100 sites in 28 countries.


New Care Locations

We now have 31 care locations in 20 countries, including six new locations in Thailand and another in Vietnam providing year-round medical services through hospital partnerships.

Achieving Safe, Effective and Timely Surgery in Honduras


Everywhere we work, we provide safe cleft surgery for every adult, teen and child in need. Once those who are waiting receive surgery, the remaining patients are newborn babies. We work to provide surgery as soon as a patient is old enough and healthy enough to undergo anesthesia.   

Thanks to the achievements of our programs last year, we’re proud to report that this is now a reality in Honduras. Every baby born in the country will receive cleft care that’s SET: safe, effective and timely.

Achieving Safe, Effective and Timely Surgery — Part 1

Our dream is to offer safe, effective and timely cleft care in every country we serve. Here's a look at what we're doing to turn our dream into reality.

On May 11, 2017, Operation Smile Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Bill Magee made this historic announcement alongside the President and First Lady of Honduras. 

Supported by medical missions and the ongoing care provided at Operation Smile Honduras’ care center, a strategy was put into motion to identify and recruit potential patients, many of them among the poorest and hardest-to-reach in the country.

The effort was successful, and we then determined that nearly all of Honduras’ adults, teens and children with untreated cleft conditions had received the surgery they always deserved.

Achieving Safe, Effective and Timely Surgery — Part 2

Patients deserve to have cleft surgery as soon as they are old enough and healthy enough. Timely access to cleft care gives a child the best chance at leading a fulfilling life. Watch what a difference SET surgery can make.


We hold ourselves accountable to the trust you place in our work to improve health and dignity through safe, effective and timely surgery.


 Committed to being the best steward of your gifts, we direct funds to programs that bring the highest standards of care to people living with cleft and other facial and dental conditions. Our stringent medical standards require the purchase of high-quality, and therefore high-cost, medical supplies, which are then shipped worldwide to our program sites. We send skilled medical and nonmedical volunteers to the patients who need them. By training and credentialing local medical professionals, we empower them to deliver world-class care where they live. For patients and families facing financial hardship in order to attend our programs, we cover the costs of transportation, lodging and food. By partnering with national governments and other organizations, we’re working toward long-term health system improvements so that future generations can receive care in their communities. It’s our honor participate on the world stage of surgical innovation and excellence to raise awareness about cleft conditions, safe surgery and the need for more equitable health services globally. Most importantly, we pride ourselves on following the highest standards of accountability, effectiveness and efficiency. 


Board Director
Energy Analytics,
PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services
San Francisco, Ca., U.S.

Board Director
Retired Plastic Surgeon
Quinton, Va., U.S.

Board Director and Officer
President and Co-Founder, Operation Smile
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.

Board Director
Professor, Georgetown University, McDonough School
of Business
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Co-Owner, American By-Products Recyclers and
Planet Earth Biodiesel
Atlantic Highlands, N.J., U.S.

Board Director and Officer
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Operation Smile
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.
President, Magee-Rosenblum Plastic Surgery
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.

Board Director
Managing Partner, Federal Capital Partners
Chevy Chase, Md., U.S

Board Director and Officer
Partner and Chief Operating Officer,
J.R. Reingold & Associates
Alexandria, Va., U.S.

Board Director and Officer
Founder and Chief Executive Officer,
Swift Transportation Company
Phoenix, Ariz., U.S.

Board Director and Officer
Partner, Thorn Run Partners LLC
CEO and Founder,
Healthcare Lighthouse
Denver, Colo., U.S.

Interim Chief Financial Officer, Operation Smile
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.

Chief Medical Officer, Operation Smile
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.

Vice President of Finance, Operation Smile
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.

Chief Program Officer, Operation Smile
Virginia Beach, Va., U.S.

*Appointed officer

For the time period July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017


We work with an incredible group of visual artists who connect global audiences to the heart of each story we tell.​


Their approach to portraying the beauty and dignity of patients, the passion of volunteers and supporters, and the orchestration of our medical programs allows us to experience an indelible memory in the moment that the video or photo is captured, no matter where we are in the world.

Marc Ascher, Oli Cohen, Steve Cachero, Bobby Cullipher, Manuela Emmer, Paulo Fabre, Martin Flink, Jörgen Hildebrandt, Markus Jordö, Markus Junghard, George Knowles, Zute Lightfoot, Thapelo Matsumi, Rohanna Mertens, Margherita Mirabella, Samuel Nilsson, Carlos Rueda, Jasmin Shah, Peter Stuckings, Reynaldo Ortiz Toledo, Kristy Walker, Justin Weiler, Beny Zambrano and Epidemic Sound