Operation Smile and Smile Train Call Off Merger
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, confirming an earlier report in the New York Times.
Operation Smile Announces Plans to Remain Independent
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.
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children’s medical charity whose network of global volunteers 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.
Smile Train Board Votes to Call off Merger
March 7, 2011, NEW YORK: The Board of Directors of Smile Train, one of the leading cleft lip and cleft palate charities in the world, today voted to call off the proposed merger with Operation Smile. The Board of Directors of Operation Smile has also voted to call off the proposed merger.
Charles B. Wang, chairman and co-founder of Smile Train said, “Smile Train was created for one reason: to cure children born with cleft lips and cleft palates. Since we announced the proposed merger, Smile Train and Operation Smile have had to spend too much time and attention dealing with false innuendo, accusations and allegations. This has taken time and focus away from what is most important, helping children with clefts. The resulting damage to both Smile Train’s and Operation Smile’s efforts led us to conclude that we could not, in good conscience, continue to pursue the merger.”
All of Smile Train’s programs and partnerships around the world have and will continue to operate with an average of 300 cleft surgeries every day.
To further this goal, the Smile Train Board of Directors announced the formation of an Executive Management Team consisting of: Priscilla Ma as Executive Director, Satish Kalra as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of South Asia, Dr. Shell Xue as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Asia, Robert Toth as Chief Operating Officer, Jill Woodcome as Senior Vice President of Programs, and Brian Dearth as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. This Team has a combined experience of over 25 years at Smile Train. The Board also announced that a member of the Medical Advisory Board will be named an ex-officio Member of the Board.
About Smile Train
Founded in 1998, Smile Train is a world leading cleft lip and cleft palate 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 to give children not just a new smile, but also a new life. Smile Train gives financial support and training to on-ground institutions in 78 countries around the world.