Volunteering with Operation Smile

Posted on 12/13/12 by Dr. Ian Chiat, M.D.

Many members of Allied Anesthesia volunteer their services locally and internationally. Recently, several anesthesiologists from our team participated in the annual Access OC event, This local organization provides medical care to Orange County’s most vulnerable residents.

Another organization Allied Anesthesia is proud to work with is Operation Smile. As we’ve posted in earlier blogs, Operation Smile is a wonderful international children’s medical charity that works to repair cleft lip deformities on children in underdeveloped countries. Often children born with a cleft are unable to eat, speak, smile or socialize. Their families are unable to afford the surgery necessary to give them a normal life. In a simple one hour procedure, these problems can be solved.

I just returned from the Philippines, where I spent my fifth medical mission with Operation Smile. Our team consisted of over sixty people from eight countries. We exchanged ideas about how to help those in need, and performed over 100 surgeries.

In addition to our medical successes, this mission was especially meaningful as it was the 30th anniversary of Operation Smile, and it took place in the inaugural location, Naga City.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with the organization’s founder, Bill Magee. We enjoyed a very welcoming dinner with a special guest; a young woman with a beautiful voice sang a special song for Operations Smile. This young lady was one of Bill Magee’s first patients.

As always, the experience was very rewarding.

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