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Press Release May 11, 2020

Local Speech Language Pathologist Wins “Operation Smile 2020 U.S. Volunteer Award” for her Work with Children Born with Cleft Conditions

For almost 25 years, Charlotte A. Ducote, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, has been volunteering in her free time with Operation Smile and attended more than 30 medical missions. For National Volunteer Week, Operation Smile is honoring its volunteers in the United States by giving out the “Operation Smile 2020 U.S. Volunteer Award” as a “thank you” for going above and beyond for children born with cleft conditions.


“I am so appreciative of the opportunity to work with an organization such as Operation Smile that inspires me to try to exceed expectations as an SLP providing services to Operation Smile patients and their family members,” said Ducote.


Ducote is one of five Operation Smile medical volunteers chosen by Operation Smile staff to receive the “Operation Smile 2020 U.S. Volunteer Award,” which is awarded to volunteers who have shown outstanding service, impeccable skill, and has gone above and beyond this year to improve the lives of our patients and quality of our programs.


“Operation Smile allows me to serve as a member of a diverse team that comes together for the best functional outcomes for the patients, to mentor individuals who want to be SLPs with Operation Smile, to collaborate with and learn from SLPs from around the world, to contribute to the efforts to update or propose additional Operation Smile global standards including those related to SLPs, and more,” said Ducote.


Operation Smile has more than 6000 volunteers worldwide who help to provide free surgery to children born with cleft conditions. Without their countless hours donated many children would not be able to receive this life changing surgery.


About Operation Smile: Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of safe surgeries for those born with cleft lip and cleft palate. With more than three decades of expertise, Operation Smile creates solutions that deliver free surgery to people where it’s needed most. As one of the largest medical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile has mobilized thousands of medical volunteers from a wide range of medical specialties from more than 80 countries. Operation Smile engages public-private partnerships to advance health care delivery, train local medical professionals to provide surgical care for patients in their communities, donate crucial medical equipment and supplies, and increase access to surgical care so that everyone living with cleft is treated. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.



It takes as little as $240 and as few as 45 minutes to provide life-changing surgery and a bright, beautiful new smile to a waiting child.