Smile Train, Inc.

Changing the world one smile at a time

aka Smile Train   |   New York, NY   |  https://www.smiletrain.org

Mission

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. Seeing the flaws in mission-based models; we were the first cleft-focused organization with a model of true sustainability. Since 1999, we have supported quality cleft care for 1.5+ million children and will continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.

Ruling year info

1993

Executive Vice Chair, President & Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Susannah Schaefer

Main address

633 Third Ave 9th Floor

New York, NY 10017 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3661416

NTEE code info

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

Birth Defects (G20)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many children around the world are living with untreated clefts. Most have difficulties eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care

A cleft occurs when certain body parts and structures do not fuse together during early fetal development. Clefts can involve the lip and/or the roof of the mouth, which is made up of both the hard and soft palate. Cleft lip and/or palate can be unilateral, involving only one side of the mouth and face, or bilateral, involving both sides. Clefts are one of the most common birth defects in many low and middle income countries, and globally an estimated 1 in every 700 newborns have a cleft lip and/or palate.

Cleft lip and/or palate can be diagnosed during pregnancy, as early as the 13th week. A cleft lip can be seen on an ultrasound, but a cleft palate is much more difficult to detect. Early diagnosis can support a family in understanding the care their new baby may potentially need. If the cleft is not detected in utero, it can be detected upon birth, and the family should immediately be referred to an experienced cleft team.

The exact cause of a cleft is not known in the majority of cases. It is often caused by a combination of environmental factors and genes that are passed from the child’s birth parents. It is never one parent or the child’s fault that a cleft develops.

Reconstructive surgery for cleft lip and/or palate has evolved over more than half a century and today's techniques and procedures have come a long way. Most experts agree that cleft lips should be treated within the first three to six months after birth. Cleft palates typically can be operated on between eight and twelve months. Most children with clefts undergo a series of surgeries as they grow and develop. Depending on the severity of their clefts and other factors, a child could undergo multiple surgeries during his/her first 20 years.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Best Documentary Short - Smile Pinki 2009

Academy Award

Best Nonprofit Website 2012

Interactive Media Awards

Gold Panda Award - Dzachuka’s Smile 2013

Sichuan TV Festival

Outstanding Achievement in Modeling & Simulation - Smile Train Virtual Surgery Simulator 2013

National Training Simulation Association

Affiliations & memberships

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization 2011

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization 2014

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Smile Train partner hospitals

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Smile Train's goal is to provide free, quality, and safe cleft surgeries to those in need. The organization partners with hospitals around the world and leverages technology and innovation to train and utilize local partner hospitals and doctors, providing them with the resources, knowledge, and skills to enable long-term sustainability.

Smile Train's local partner surgeons use the training and resources to provide 100% free cleft repair surgeries for children in need. Local doctors are empowered to help their own communities with Smile Train's training on the latest cleft techniques, while ensuring they abide by our strict standards. After surgery, our local medical professionals evaluate whether or not additional dental, orthodontic, and therapeutic care is needed. Our speech therapy programs ensure each child gains confidence with their smile.

Smile Train provides essential free training and education to cleft surgeons and related medical professionals around the world. Since 1999, we have provided more than 66,000 free scholarships, surgical training resources, workshops, and symposiums for doctors and medical professionals from 140+ countries.

Smile Train provides financial support that has been used for a wide range of applications, including new operating rooms, cleft surgical instruments and supplies like scalpels and sutures, crucial safety equipment like pulse oximeters, and much more. All of these investments make not only a significant number of incremental surgeries possible, but also make these surgeries safer and of higher quality.

Smile Train has provided more than 1,000,000 free cleft surgeries to children in the developing world since our founding in 1999. Our network of 1,100+ partner hospitals with 2,100+ partner surgeons, has helped children in more than 85 countries.

When Smile Train was founded we were only able to offer the initial surgery, but as we have expanded and our resources have grown, we are very happy to be able to provide not only free follow-up surgeries, but also speech therapy at a number of our partner hospitals as well as orthodontics programs.

In many countries we work in, the amount of surgeries we provide annually, has now surpassed the estimated annual number of cleft births. We are still working tirelessly to ensure that every child born around the world has access to free, safe cleft treatment.

Financials

Smile Train, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Smile Train, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 4/14/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Susannah Schaefer

Smile Train

Robert Bell

Finance Chair, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Inc.

Susannah Schaefer

Executive Vice Chair, President & Chief Executive Officer, Smile Train

Roy Reichbach

Arthur McCarthy

Alternate Governor, New York Islanders

Michael Dowling

President & Chief Executive Officer, Northwell Health

Ed Goren

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Goren Media Group

Richard Ruderman

President & CEO, Krieger Ruderman & Co., LLC