Global reach, individual impact.
Global Smile Foundation transforms the lives of children born with clefts by providing free comprehensive cleft care for over 1,000 patients annually, enabling them to overcome the physical, mental, and socio-economic burdens that would otherwise limit their lives.
Our mission is also to empower cleft care providers around the world to improve patient access to the best quality of care possible.
Based on more than three decades of experience, the work of GSF has evolved into five main categories.
1. Providing Integrated & Individualized Care
The best patient outcomes for cleft care come from an integrated approach to care that brings together all of the associated specialties: surgery, dentistry, orthodontics, pediatrics, speech pathology, psychology, nursing, and anesthesiology.
GSF teams include experienced providers from each of these disciplines, who work together to improve the lives of their patients. Each patient has specific needs and our teams are designed to deliver individualized treatment plans.
Each mission begins with an extensive screening process to determine a plan for each patient’s care based on best practices in cleft care protocol. The rest of the mission centers on providing this high-quality care.
2. Providing a Continuity of Care over Time
Children born with cleft require care throughout their childhoods as they grow physically, cognitively, and emotionally. By returning to each mission location annually, often with many of the same volunteers, GSF is able to give personal and consistent support to each patient and family.
By providing education and training during annual missions, GSF is able to share knowledge with onsite healthcare providers and thereby enhance the quality of care for the surrounding communities. Ultimately, our goal is to establish a year-round Cleft Center at each location to continue and expand the care provided by GSF volunteers. To date, Cleft Centers are in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Beirut, Lebanon.
4. Global Reach
In 2018, GSF launched an international workshop to reach a wider, global audience. The Comprehensive Cleft Care Workshop (CCCW) brings together the leaders in the cleft and craniofacial fields to share skills and knowledge with a new generation of providers.
Empowering cleft care providers through education efforts results in better patient care and outcomes on a scale that surpasses what any individual NGO can accomplish alone.
Even training one cleft care provider has far-reaching impact. Assuming that one provider can treat 200 patients in a year, on average, and that a typical provider career spans 20 years, then training one provider will benefit 4,000 patients.
5. Unity & Collaboration
We believe in working collaboratively with other organizations in the cleft and craniofacial fields. By harnessing our collective energy, we can improve the efficiency and outreach cleft care as well as the outcomes for patients.
GSF is a founding member of the World Cleft Coalition (WCC) and actively contributes to the creation of worldwide standards for patient care. In addition, other NGOs that provide cleft care regularly attend and sponsor the CCCW.