Smile Train announces the launch of its Cleft Leadership Centers (CLCs) to further its commitment to improve global health equity and access to safe, affordable, comprehensive cleft care worldwide.

The CLCs will serve as regional hubs for cleft treatment and training, providing a holistic, team-centered model of care that encompasses surgery, speech therapy, nutritional support, orthodontics and more. Equipped with the latest technology and staffed with trained medical professionals, CLCs will be a model for other cleft centers and ensure the highest standard of cleft care is available for all.

“The impact of CLCs will extend far beyond cleft care. They will strengthen health systems throughout these countries and regions. They are one of the many ways that Smile Train, our global Medical Advisory Board, local Medical Advisory Councils, and our partners are leading the way for sustainable improvements to global health systems to create a better standard of care and healthier, happier futures everywhere we work.”

— Smile Train President & CEO Susannah Schaefer

New Centers Will be Established

Initially launching in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, India, Ghana, Vietnam, and the Philippines, new cleft centers will soon be established across additional regions around the globe. Over the next five years, Smile Train anticipates introducing 10 additional CLCs in low- and middle-income countries, expanding its sustainable model of empowering local trained medical professionals to save the lives of individuals with clefts while building stronger, more resilient surgical systems across the globe.

“The global disparity of access to safe and high-quality healthcare, especially the specialized surgical treatment necessary to treat conditions like cleft lip and palate, leads to millions of preventable deaths every year. This inequity is due, in part, to a lack of access to necessary resources, equipment, and training for healthcare professionals. I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is committed to improving the access and caliber of cleft care for children across the world.”

— Dr. Larry Hollier, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Chairman of Smile Train’s Global Medical Advisory Board

Prof. Peter Donkor, Smile Train’s Africa Medical Advisory Council Chair and President of the West African College of Surgeons spoke to the impact that CLCs would have not only in his region, but worldwide.

“This milestone will elevate Smile Train’s partner medical professionals across all fields of cleft care, increasing our capacity to bring patients with clefts holistic, quality care delivered close to their doorstep,” he says.

Supports Safe and Quality Cleft Care

Smile Train’s sustainable model empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. For over 20 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for more than 1.5 million children globally and will continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.

[Source(s): Smile Train, PR Newswire; Photo courtesy of PR Newswire]

Related Content:
Smile Train Launches Mobile Version of Virtual Surgery Simulator
Smile Train and Lifebox Partner on Safer Surgery and Anesthesia Initiative in Low-Resource Countries
Smile Train Takes on Operations of Simulare Medical