Operation Smile was born when Dr. Magee traveled to the Philippines with his wife in 1981. Although they treated 150 children with facial deformities, hundreds of others had to be turned away. "I couldn't bear looking at those faces and having to say I was sorry," Dr. Magee recalled. When the Magees returned to the United States, they raised money, recruited medical volunteers, and gathered surgical supplies. Since their first visit, they have returned to the Philippines again and again to bring smiles to countless children.
Today, Operation Smile serves dozens of sites, including Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, the Middle East, Russia, and Vietnam. Domestic medical programs have also been established in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Nashville, Los Angeles, Newark, Baltimore, and Norfolk. Most recently, Dr. Magee has partnered with Charles B. Wang, CEO of Computer Associates International, Inc., to create the Smile Train. The 5-year goal of the program is to provide medical reconstructive surgery to more than 100,000 children in China.
For his exemplary dedication to the cause of helping poor children regain their smiles, we are proud to award the Virtual Mentor Award to Dr. William P. Magee, Jr.