Operation Smile Announces Plans to Remain Independent

Mar 07, 2011, 17:23 ET from Operation Smile

NORFOLK, Va., March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Operation Smile today voted to discontinue the proposed merger with Smile Train. The Board of Directors of Smile Train also has voted to discontinue the proposed merger.

William R. Fox, Chairman of the Board of Operation Smile, released the following statement on behalf of the Board of Directors: "We have thoughtfully and carefully pursued combining our two organizations with the goal of treating more children in more countries around the world. Due to controversy surrounding the proposed merger, we have mutually agreed to remain independent organizations. Our focus at Operation Smile is to help more children and we do not want anything to distract from this effort. We remain committed to our model to build local medical capacity and provide quality care for the millions of children around the world who suffer from cleft lips and cleft palates."

On February 14, 2011, the two leading cleft organizations had announced the intent to merge, subject to obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals under New York and Virginia law. Operation Smile will continue its focus on providing hands-on training for local doctors in our partner countries, fostering a spirit of volunteerism, and providing the highest standard of care for each and every child it helps.

About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)

Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children's medical charity whose network of more than 5,000 medical volunteers from 79 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding in 1982 by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, Operation Smile has treated more than 160,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in more than 60 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and donates crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency. Last fiscal year, nearly 60 percent of Operation Smile's surgeries were provided either at the organization's 11 global Comprehensive Care Centers or by in-country credentialed medical volunteers during local medical programs.

SOURCE Operation Smile