Norfolk, VA 5/15/2008 11:41:55 PM
News / Education


International Medical Mission Team to Provide Free Surgery to Children Born with Cleft Lips and Cleft Palates

An Operation Smile Medical Mission team will arrive in Lima, Peru, for an international medical mission taking place May 22-May 31, 2008 to assist children born with facial deformities.  The team consists of more than 50 medical and non-medical volunteers from Canada, Colombia, Italy, Nicaragua and the United States who will be working side-by-side with local Peruvian medical volunteers.  Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a worldwide children’s medical charity dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. 

Who: An Operation Smile International Mission Team comprised of volunteers from six countries to include:

  • Dr. Wieslawa De Pawlikowski, plastic surgeon and Operation Smile Peru Medical Director
  • Dr. Jill Gora, family physician from New Jersey
  • Christine Anderson, R.N., clinical coordinator from Colorado
  • Susan Craig, medical records specialist from Florida 

When:  May 22-31, 2008

Where:  Hospital Daniel A. Carrión, Lima, Peru

This will be Operation Smile’s ninth international medical mission to Lima and the 13th medical mission to Peru.  Operation Smile will incorporate presentation sessions during the week to provide additional education for plastic surgeons and anesthesiologists.  Operation Smile volunteer Dr. Nicola Freda of Italy will give a cleft lip and cleft palate presentation to fellow plastic surgeons, while Dr. Carol Parrot from the United States will give a presentation to anesthesiologists regarding anesthesia for cleft lip and cleft palate repairs.  Since 1999, Operation Smile medical volunteers have provided more than 3,700 Peruvian children and young adults with free physical examinations and nearly 2,000 have received life-changing surgery during international medical missions.

The last medical missions in Peru took place in November 2007 during Operation Smile’s 25th Anniversary World Journey of Smiles, when two teams of medical and non-medical volunteers worked together in Arequipa and Trujillo.  In total, medical teams conducted free physical examinations for 190 children and young adults and provided surgery to 116 patients suffering with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
About Operation Smile (
Founded in 1982, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a
worldwide children’s medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults.  Since its founding, Operation Smile volunteers have treated more than 115,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its 26 partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency. 

Media Notes:  To receive images or additional information, or to request an interview with an Operation Smile spokesperson, please contact Lisa Jones at or