Summer 2017 Newsletter

Summer 2017 Newsletter

Executive Director, Alison Healy

Greeting Friends,

As I began to compose this letter, I realized how quickly my four years has passed as Chairman of the Board of Alliance for Smiles. It has been a year with many rewarding moments, as well as some challenges. Though a year of transition, we made solid progress on many fronts, including expanding our programs while establishing exciting mission locations.

Perhaps the biggest change is the welcome addition of our new Executive Director, Alison Healy, who comes to us with a background in international nonprofits and a keen interest in cleft missions. Her extensive education includes Stanford Business School and her interest in serving others has been part of her life since she lived in Brazil as a young child. From an early age, Alison knew she wanted to contribute to the world in a meaningful way and she has kept her promise to herself. Just some of her experiences include being a Foster Mother, a Big Sister, volunteering in Guatemala, working as a translator at a Rotary Clinic, and founding nonprofit “Sail San Francisco”.

Alison brings with her many new ideas and we are excited to stand behind her as she implements income producing programs to help us secure a fee-based and on-going funding. Just a few of these will include piloting a pre-med international internship program for a fee, redesigning our website to make it more cutting edge and to add a more robust donation and a membership program.

We are so proud that, because of you, our community at large, we transform lives!! I am personally asking you to help us continue to change one life at a time. Your gift of $1,000 will pay for one child’s surgery and for one child’s new beginning. Any amount will make a difference, no matter how small, so please consider how you can help.

Karl Wustrack MD
Board Chair, Alliance for Smiles


Recently we had a mission trip in the city of Myeik, Myanmar. During this trip Dr. Wallace Chang had the honor to complete a successful 6,000th surgery for Alliance for Smiles! Thiswas an amazing accomplishment for all of us.

The patient was a 12 year old girl named Kyu Win. After a failed attempt to make it to a previous surgical mission, Kyu’s mother was determined to make it this time. Kyu and her family made the five hour journey to Myeik to have this surgery done.

“I would have done anything to help my daughter,” the girl’s mother said. After years of being bullied by other children, Kyu has finally gotten what she’s always dreamed of and looks forward to returning home to show off her beautiful smile.

“After years of being bullied by other children, Kyu has finally gotten what she’s always dreamed of.”

12th Annual Gala!

China Missions

Over the years Alliance for Smiles has made over 70 trips around the world, China being our most common mission location.

Our first mission in 2005 was to China, chosen because of the dire need for our support and medical treatment. With one in every 350 children being born annually with the cleft anomaly, it was clear that this area could use our help.

By April of 2007 we had established our first Treatment Center which was dedicated in Jiujiang, China. Four more centers have been established in China since then.

By the end of 2017 we will have visited China over 50 times and are excited to keep growing this number in the coming years.

Volunteer Spotlight

Dr. Anne Wuerslin (below, left) is one of the team’s pediatricians and is one of the last smiling faces that our patients get to see from us as they are being discharged.

We wouldn’t be able to do this without people like you, Anne! Thank you!

Rotary International Convention

For the 11th year in a row, Alliance for Smiles had a strong presence at the Rotary International (RI) convention. This year’s conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia, and included over 30,000 attendees from all over the world. The RI convention is an opportunity for us to renew our strong ties to Rotary, establish new funding opportunities, and make connections for potential mission sites. The AfS representation included Board Members Anita Stangl, Barbara Fisher, Tina Fischlin and Cecile Chiquette; volunteers Carl Vahl and Micki Tanner; and Director of Operations Paul Vazquez.

Thank You!

It is only because we have so many exceptionally dedicated international volunteers and partners that our work is possible. All of our volunteers donate their time, work under exhausting conditions, travel around the world, and still manage to give more. It is only because so many selfless people are dedicated to changing lives that we can operate on many hundreds of patients every year.

In addition, many of our team members offer instruction to local doctors and their teams at our five clinics. These clinics are now taking over some of our work because they are now often trained to care for their own children with local medical teams. The realization of our clinics is a critical part of our mission as we are watching local medical capacities grow year by year; this in turn means that we are leaving a self-sustaining legacy at each of our five clinics in China. This year we completed our 6,000th surgery which represents a value of $28,136,988 in donated surgeries since our inception in 2004. We are proud that with your help and support, we are transforming so many lives!


Your donations help with much more than just a child’s surgery and establishing our treatment centers. We also offer children these services: