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In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we are celebrating one of our longtime nonprofit partners, Operation Smile. Based in Virginia and operating on an international scale, Operation Smile provides life-changing surgeries to children with facial deformities in low resource areas. Cleft lip and cleft palate are very pervasive birth defects; it is estimated that every 3 minutes a child is born with one or the other. Babies born with orofacial clefts have tissue that did not join properly in the face during development, and thus have an increased risk of death before their first birthdays, as well as low birth weights and other health complications. In addition to the health risks children with facial deformities face, they also must often deal with harsh bullying from peers and speech impediments.

Operation Smile addresses this global health crisis by providing safe, well-regulated surgeries and mobilizing medical volunteers to work with local medical professionals on better health care practices. The organization’s cofounder and president, Kathy Magee, shares, “Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.” Operation Smile is helping to bring lifesaving access to medicine to children who otherwise would not have had a chance. This grant, made possible by Maximus and our employees, allows Operation Smile to provide safe surgeries that give children the chance to live healthier and happier lives.

Learn more about Operation Smile’s incredible work.