Mother and child/patient
About Us

What Makes GSF Unique

Comprehensive Cleft Team

GSF’s mission is to provide comprehensive & multi-disciplinary cleft care at all sites served and to support the local communities in developing a cleft team approach to manage their patient population. This commitment is reflected by our comprehensive team staffing of:

  • Surgeons experienced with cleft procedures from renowned US teaching hospitals
  • Pediatric anesthesiologists
  • Perioperative, OR, and Pediatric PACU nurses
  • Pediatrician
  • Psychosocial and Family Advocate
  • Dentists: craniofacial and pediatric
  • Speech Therapist
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Administrative Coordinators: GSF & Local community
  • Logistics coordinator
  • Photographer

In addition, GSF partners with well respected onsite nonprofit organizations, local authorities and cleft surgeons to deliver much needed care for underserved patients. These efforts include:

  • Extensive media campaign initiated 3 months prior to GSF team’s arrival for patient recruitment
  • Patients prescreening by our onsite cleft surgeon(s) 2 ½  months prior to scheduled mission to initiate appropriate nutritional, pediatric, orthodontic and Nasoalveolar Molding (NAM) Therapy
  • Surgery alone is not enough to correct cleft deformities or best serve cleft patients’ needs
  • Perioperative care delivered by GSF’s onsite partner cleft surgeon(s)
  • Authorization for team’s work by appropriate local authorities such as Ministry of Health, etc.
  • Onsite mission coordinator, translators and other support volunteers to ensure maximum safety

Preventative & Educational Programs

GSF works with the local authorities to expand the role of nutritional & preventative programs to decrease the incidence of cleft deformities such as folic supplementation during pregnancy, smoking cessation, public awareness campaigns, etc.

GSF also works with local nonprofits and authorities to expand public awareness about clefts including role of nutrition, consanguinity, peri-operative course, comprehensive cleft care, psychosocial issues and other aspects pertaining to treating and managing cleft patients.

GSF believes in sustainability through:

  • Extensive & integrated educational programs
  • Hands-on training
  • Educational conferences  & lectures
  • Development of local cleft teams at each site
  • Guidance & support of local partners to ensure advanced cleft care for local populace
  • Nutritional and preventative programs such as prenatal folic acid supplementation, cessation of smoking, etc. 

Mission Statistics

On any given one week mission, the following procedures and consultations are performed:

  • 120-150  Patients screened
  • All undergo full Anesthesia  & Pediatric evaluations & examinations
  • 45-60 Corrective surgical procedures performed
  • 150-300 Dental procedures performed
  • 30-40 speech therapy consultations
  • 50+ Nutritional consultations
  • 20-50 family support sessions including psychosocial consultations
  • 5 lectures delivered during Wednesday evening seminar
  • Hands-on training throughout the whole week
  • Donations of equipment, supplies & meds to our local partners

Small Costs, Big Rewards

  • $1000-1,300  will cover the cost of repair of a cleft lip surgery
  • $5000-6,500 will cover the cost of running 1 operating room per day
  • Global Smile Foundation requires only $50,000-$80,000 to fund one mission
  • Average value of donated surgical, anesthesia, & dental services per mission: $1,500,000
  • All Global Smile Foundation services are donated at no charge to the patients

Integrated Care

Collectively, GSF volunteers recognized the need for not just offering fragmented corrective surgical and dental procedures for patients born with cleft lip and palate deformities, but the urgent need to implement comprehensive care. This includes:

  • Comprehensive Cleft Teams to deliver care
  • Multi-disciplinary approach to cleft care
  • Sustainability  through:
    • Extensive & integrated educational programs
    • Hands-on training throughout the missions
    • Educational conferences & lectures
    • Development of local cleft teams at each site
    • Guidance & support of local partners to ensure advanced cleft care for local populace
  • Nutritional preventative programs in conjunction with local authorities & NGO’s
  • Quality first: Time tested techniques
  • Integrated care & follow up procedures
  • Highly qualified, well-published physicians  & healthcare professionals
  • Cleft lip surgery done under local anesthesia for patients >12 years
  • Adherence to highest standards of quality care in outreach settings
  • Emergency response policies in place to ensure team’s timely & coordinated attention to rare potential medical situations
  • GSF quality assurance mission guidelines are highly referenced
  • Volunteers return to the same sites on annual basis for follow up care
  • 80% of team members return annually, forming personal bonds & friendship with the local staff & patients
  • Commitment to long-term follow-up with patients. At sites like Guayaquil, Ecuador, our volunteers have been delivering care for cleft patients for the past 25 years.
  • Donations to mission hospitals are made possible through the generosity of GSF sponsors that enable the local medical professionals to follow through with patients after the missions.

Psychosocial Program

The multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals involved with GSF provides an exceptional level of care to patients and makes a difference in the lives of children and families in many countries. The development and integration of a family-centered care concept of healthcare, educational information, and preoperative preparation program will help to further the mission of GSF to provide exceptional, comprehensive care to patients around the world.

This unique psychosocial education and preparation-based program includes:

  • Educational information on the conditions of cleft lip and palate
  • Nutritional information and counseling
  • Understanding the role of GSF in each country
  • Preparation video for pediatric and adult patients prior to surgery
  • Perioperative preparation program: Medical play and psychosocial counseling techniques to reduce preoperative anxiety for pediatric and adult patients.

GSF’s comprehensive approach to treating patients decreases anxiety and increases comfort in the hospital environment, providing educational information for children and families on each mission.

List of missions
Contact Us
Global Smile Foundation
101 Access Road, Suite 205
Norwood, MA 02062
Phone: +1 (781) 501-5007
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Global Smile Foundation, 101 Access Road, Suite 205, Norwood, MA 02062, Phone: +1 (781) 501-5007, Email:
Copyright © 2015 Global Smile Foundation, Inc., All Rights Reserved. GSF runs global missions to repair cleft lips and cleft palates.