1 AUGUST 2023, MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Bound by a shared commitment to increasing access to cleft care, Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, and Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation Philippines, Inc. (NCFPI) launches the country’s first  Cleft Leadership Center (CLC). As Smile Train celebrates a milestone of supporting more than 75,000 cleft surgeries in the Philippines, the launch of this premier cleft center reinforces the organization’s continued dedication to providing enhanced progressive treatment, especially for cleft-affected Filipinos in need. 

“Smile Train celebrates its 75,000 cleft surgery milestone this year and, as we recognize this significant accomplishment, we know there is still more work ahead of us. The launch of the CLC represents our commitment to continuously providing safe, high-quality, and timely care for the Philippine cleft community by building a stronger, comprehensive cleft care system,” shared Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train’s Vice President for Southeast Asia.

The CLC also serves as a regional hub for cleft care and training, anchored on Smile Train’s comprehensive approach and sustainable model for cleft treatment. The presence of the CLC in the country bridges the gap between the Philippine cleft community and their access to quality cleft care.

Smile Train Launches First Cleft Leadership Center in the Philippines
 [Top, from L-R]: Dr. Glenda de Villa, Dr. Chrys Marquez-Cruz, Mr. Jun Grimares, Ms. Mamta Carroll, Ms. Kimmy Flaviano, Dr. Janet Pandan, Dr. Bernie Tansipek, Mr. Paolo Sison III
[Bottom, from L-R]: Dr. Cecile Cabrera, Ms. Van Enriquez, Ms. Gina Sevilla, and Ms. Van Davidon at the launch of the Cleft Leadership Center in Taft, Manila

High-Quality Cleft Care 

The CLC is a multidisciplinary center that provides 100% free comprehensive cleft care from birth to adulthood, powered by a capable local network of medical professionals. 

To reach more cleft-affected Filipinos in need, Smile Train strengthened its existing partnership with NCFPI, an organization that leads the standard of multidisciplinary cleft care in the Philippines. Both organizations work together to provide free, quality cleft care to Filipinos who would otherwise not be able to afford the treatment they need. 

“NCFPI is a long-time partner of Smile Train in bringing holistic cleft care to cleft-affected individuals in the Philippines. The CLC ensures that an individual’s treatment journey does not stop with cleft surgery but also requires other services necessary for them to live a full and healthier life,” said Dr. Bernard Tansipek, President of NCFPI. 

Smile Train Launches First Cleft Leadership Center in the Philippines
Dental Room at the Cleft Leadership Center in Joshua Center, Taft, Manila

The CLC brings comprehensive cleft care closer to Filipinos as it houses different services necessary for holistic treatment and rehabilitation. All these can be found in NCFPI’s two sites: the Smile Train Craniofacial Center in Joshua Center, which has orthodontic and speech therapy services, and at the Our Lady of Peace Hospital in Parañaque where surgeries, orthodontics and dental treatment, nutrition services, and counseling are held.

The CLC also serves as a training and educational hub for local medical practitioners. The skills and experience of the cleft teams and state-of-the-art technology in these centers help build local medical capacity in treating different types of clefts, ensuring that Filipinos do not have to travel far to get access to high-quality cleft care. Smile Train supports NCFPI with the needed resources and enables them to help those in need. 

Going Beyond the 75k Smiles

The launch of the Philippines’ first CLC paves the way for more Filipinos to get the high-quality, safe, and free treatment they need. More than this, it also signals a more optimal outcome for every surgery through continuous innovation and development of care. 

For more information about Smile Train’s global efforts, please visit smiletrain.org. To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines, please visit smiletrain.ph, follow Smile Train Philippines on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines. 

Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.