NEW YORK and VARANASI, India, May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today in Varanasi, one of Smile Train's oldest and highest performing partners, G S Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital, will reach a new milestone - 20,000 Smile Train sponsored free cleft surgeries. G S Memorial, under the leadership of Dr. Subodh Kumar Singh runs one of the largest cleft centers in the world. G S Memorial has been a Smile Train partner since April 2004 and is featured in the 2008 Academy Award® winning Documentary – Smile Pinki.
Priscilla Ma, Executive Director of Smile Train congratulated Dr. Subodh and said, "During the last 12 years at Smile Train, we have learned so much about the delivery of cleft care around the world by partnering with local medical communities. It was Margaret Mead that said, never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Dr. Subodh, you are a true hero, setting an extraordinary example for our staff, international partners and humanitarians around the world."
Baby, an eight month old little girl who will be discharged today, was born with a complete cleft of the lip and palate and was originally screened by Dr. Subodh at a camp in Daltonganj, Jharkhand when she was 13 days old. At that time she was deemed not fit for surgery. She returned on May 20th for surgery and became G S Memorial's 20,000th patient.
Senior Vice President Managing Director of Regional Programs Satish Kalra, who oversees all South Asian programs, commented that "this is something to be cherished and celebrated not just by Dr. Subodh and his amazing team, but by each one of us that has had the privilege of being associated with G S Memorial Hospital. What a journey it has been! They have put smiles not just on the faces of these kids, and their families along the way – but on ours too!"
In South Asia and around the world, Smile Train continues to empower local medical professionals and communities, leveraging technology and innovation to create scalable and transferable programs, providing more than 300 free cleft surgeries every day.
About Smile Train
Founded in 1999, Smile Train is the world's largest cleft charity with thousands of partners and programs in many of the world's poorest countries. Smile Train provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to children from poor families that give a child not just a new smile, but a chance at a new life. Smile Train has provided financial support and training to on-ground institutions in 80+ countries around the world. For more information go to www.smiletrain.org
Contact: Brian Dearth
SOURCE Smile Train