Our Vision

Our Vision

Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.

Our Mission

We estimate that there are millions of children waiting for care in the 34 countries where we work. 

The majority of these children are unable to receive the medical care they need because it is too costly, far away, or specialized. Because of this, being born with a cleft condition can be fatal. If a child survives, they may face bullying and social isolation. 

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

What started as a family-led, medical-mission based organization has grown into a global network of passionate individuals united under the belief that access to safe surgery is not a privilege, but a universal human right.

Empowering local health professionals through training and education creates surgical solutions that last. We’re proud that most of our medical volunteers are from the low-and middle-income countries we serve. By partnering with ministries of health, academic institutions, corporations, local health professionals and other organizations, our goal is to change lives and revolutionize how entire health systems deliver surgical care where we work.

Explore
Operation Smile was founded in 1982 when Dr. Bill Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathy, a nurse and clinical social worker, traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates.
Explore
Find out more about how we’re creating surgical solutions that last through training and education.
Explore
We partner with leading global corporations and other businesses that share our vision of a world where no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery. Get to know our partners.
Explore
1.
Operation Smile was founded in 1982 when Dr. Bill Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathy, a nurse and clinical social worker, traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates.
2.
Find out more about how we’re creating surgical solutions that last through training and education.
3.
We partner with leading global corporations and other businesses that share our vision of a world where no child suffers from lack of access to safe surgery. Get to know our partners.
Close

Our Commitment to Comprehensive Care

Surgery is the first step in repairing a cleft condition, it can immediately improve a child’s ability to eat, breathe and speak. After surgery, we provide comprehensive care based on each child’s needs including dentistry, speech therapy and psychosocial support. This increases their likelihood of living a normal life, attending school and pursuing a brighter future. We’re committed to treating the whole patient because it’s the right thing to do. Find out how we’re providing the highest quality of surgical care to every child, everywhere.

Our Vision

We envision a future where health and dignity are improved through safe surgery.

What We Believe

When we meet families affected by cleft who live in some of the most impoverished communities in the world, we’re reminded of the transformative effect surgery can have on the lives of people like Dede and his daughter Clara.