Local Health Care Partnerships Strengthening Our Partnerships with Local Healthcare Providers

“We know it is time to do more and that means having more people caring for more patients in more places.” Mark Climie-Elliott, CEO of Operation Smile Canada

Operation Smile has deepened its commitment to provide safe, timely and accessible cleft surgeries and comprehensive care to our patients worldwide. No child should have to wait for surgery because of the distance and cost to receive cleft care, which is why we are partnering with local hospitals to bring cleft care closer to patients’ homes.

Expanding cleft care in La Guajira, Colombia, is the first of many steps being taken by Operation Smile towards our goal of impacting the lives of a million more patients over the next decade. Your commitment enabled monthly surgical programs at our hospital partner in Cochabamba city and strengthened our partnerships with hospitals in Santa Cruz and La Guajira and the University of Aquinas Bolivia.  

“The need for a greater and more sustained presence in La Guajira is great,” said Marcela Forero, Executive Director of Operation Smile Colombia. She added, “Many of the estimated 22,000 patients with cleft conditions in Colombia live there. It’s a long way to travel to Bogotá and most people can’t afford the expense. With this investment, we can provide care closer to home.” 

Guatemala health care

In the wake of gathering limits and restricted travel, Operation Smile in Mexico established new partnerships with local hospitals in 2021 to bring cleft closer to home. This year, your support enabled new monthly surgical programs in partnership with local hospitals and medical volunteers in Puebla and Chiapas. Furthermore, you enabled the expansion of short-term surgical programs to Mexico City and Oaxaca. Patients will continue to receive comprehensive cleft care at our partner hospitals by our dedicated local and global medical volunteers.

In Manila, Philippines, Operation Smile has partnered with St. Ana Hospital since 2011 to carry out regular surgical programs and comprehensive cleft care. Since our partnership, our global medical volunteers have delivered surgical and dental care to at least 1200 patients. It has also served hundreds of patients in neighbouring cities and regions – the only cleft care provider nearby.