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New Year Brings New Hope to Children Born With Cleft Lip, Palate
Date:1/7/2009

Plastic Surgeons Kick-Off 2009 with Mission Trips to Developing Countries

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents of a child born with cleft lip and palate often have one New Year's resolution, to make sure their child lives a normal life. For some, this year's resolution will be met. Building on a tradition of volunteering and philanthropy, members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) will usher in 2009 by demonstrating, "it is better to give than to receive," by traveling overseas on behalf of several charitable organizations to donate their reconstructive surgical skills to children with facial deformities in developing countries. Plastic surgeons will also teach local physicians techniques to enable them to continue to perform cleft procedures long after they've returned to the U.S.

"The economic downturn might be slowing the number of facelifts and liposuctions performed, but for many plastic surgeons the New Year brings ongoing opportunities to give back," said ASPS President John Canady, MD, Iowa City, Iowa, who will participate in a mission trip to Guatemala this February with the local charity Miles of Smiles. Canady, who specializes in cleft lip and palate repairs, said "Children with facial deformities often face discrimination and ridicule in their communities. When surgeons donate their surgical talents to children and give physicians in developing countries the tools to continue helping people in their areas, they restore lives."

To kick-off the New Year, plastic surgeons will participate in medical mission trips from January - March in Central and South America (Guatemala, Columbia, and Nicaragua). These missions are made possible through a generous $1 million grant from The Smile Train. The grant will help defray costs such as medical supplies and transportation. Funds from the grant will support additional medical mi
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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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