Alliance for Smiles organizes and sends surgical teams to under-served countries for two week missions . A surgical team is comprised of approximately 14 medical volunteers, supported by approximately 6 non-medical volunteers. During a mission 60 to 80 children receive free surgery for cleft lip and palate anomalies. The AfS team works side-by-side with local medical practitioners to exchange ideas on proper medical techniques and procedures, as well as to provide follow-up care.
Volunteer positions on medical missions include the following medical and non-medical positions:
- Plastic Surgeon (with cleft experience)
- Anesthesiologist (with pediatric experience)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (with pediatric experience)
- Pediatrician (with current PALS)
- OR Nurse
- PACU nurse (with current PALS & ACLS)
- Dental Hygienist
- Speech Pathologist (with cleft experience)
- Mission Director
- Medical Record Keeper
- Family/Ward Coordinator
If you would like to volunteer in the office, please contact us for more information.
Volunteer Application Forms
Fellowship Program – Internship Opportunity:
The Alliance for Smiles (AfS) International Medical Fellowship program is designed for pre-med students who are ready to enter the medical field.
International Medical Fellowship
Intensive Twelve Day Medical Missions – $3,000
You will receive a behind-the-scenes look at your future career while gaining a mature understanding of your passion for healthcare.
AfS is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 2004 – its mission is to repair children’s broken smiles by providing free comprehensive treatment for cleft lip and palate anomolies in under-served areas of the world.
Founded on the principles of integrity, respect, commitment, and imagination, AfS provides a safe and mutually beneficial experience where students can make a meaningful contribution to disadvantaged populations throughout the world.
Unlike many international medical programs, AfS is a non-profit organization focused on giving to the communities in which we operate. Every fellow who joins to our program will be providing sponsorship for one child’s transformational cleft surgery.
You will be shadowing our superb team while learning what it takes to “do the job” by rotating through each position – from plastic surgery to anesthesia, from record-keeping to holding beautiful babies!
We keep our total number of fellows to a maximum of four per mission. You will have access to all the doctors and nurses from breakfast through dinner.
You will stay at the same hotel; dine together, and shadow – in and out of the OR – throughout the day.
While some programs merely transport participants to their hospital placements and offer little oversight or guidance, we provide a structured environment with syllabus to guide you and allow you to test your own knowledge against our “must know” syllabus questions.
Our top concern is keeping our fellows safe during their stay. As such, we work with a carefully vetted travel agency to book our accommodations ensuring that they are in the safest areas, typically with easy access to major roads, shopping areas, U.S. embassies, and the airport.
Lastly, you will receive noteworthy volunteer hours! We offer 80 hours of verified volunteer time and a certificate of completion.
A Typical Day
Rise and shine at 6:30 am to be ready for breakfast with the team at the hotel by 7 am. Walk with your team to the hospital where surgeries begin at 8am. You will break for lunch with the local hospital staff and our medical team, then get ready for the second half of the day which ends about 5:30pm – just in time to wash-up for dinner at 6: 30pm. Each day we will also include morning and evening rounds with the doctors. You will have two full days off to explore during your twelve-day fellowship.
What Does this Internship Cost?
$3,000, which includes all mentoring and teaching, all meals, ground transportation, one day of sightseeing and accommodations for 11 nights (shared room). Airfare is not included.
Want to see more? We have several customized short trips which are sold as all-inclusive packages and can be added to your fellowship charges. Ask for more information.
We have tons of fundraising ideas to help you raise your tuition. Contact us for information.
What Your Tuition Pays For
AfS is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco CA, USA. Your program fee is used to cover all costs associated with your placement – including accommodations for 11 nights, ground transportation to and from the airport, 3 meals a day, travel insurance and administrative costs. The remaining
revenue is used to sponsor one child and to fund our global humanitarian missions.
What is Required to Participate?
Our program accepts students who are at least 18 years of age at the time of the trip.This includes high school graduates, under-graduate students, pre-medical students, and medical students. While there are no other formal requirements, successful applicants are able to articulate their motivation and unique qualities for participating in a fellowship.
Send a cover letter and resume. Include international & medical experience, if any. Send a video of yourself and tell us why you would be a great asset to our team. Set up a call for a friendly interview with Alison Healy, Executive Director. Send in your application & enrollment fee of $500 (goes towards your tuition) to AfS. Contact our office for application documents.
Although I don’t know your names, when I see your smile I can feel your love. You are so kind, so sincere, and I am so touched. There is actually love in this world, and individuals are not as selfish and cold-hearted as I believed. We were neither friends nor relatives, yet you came so far to help me. I just can’t put into words how touched I am.
I was so very worried about my child, Somiya. You have helped us a lot by coming here. I and my family are very grateful to you for this, so much that we are out of words. We will remember you till the last days of our lives.
|Volunteer of the Year||Distinguished Service Award||John Uth Memorial Award|
|2008 - Barbara Fisher||2009 - Dr. Colin Wong||2013 - Burton Berry|
|2009 - Dave Fowler||2010 - Dr. Wally Chang||2014 - Rotary Club of Wanchai|
|2010 - Wilber Breseman||2011 - John Goings||2015 - Rotary International|
|2011 - Dr. Quentin Li||2012 - John Uth||2016 - STOP Cleft International Alliance|
|2012 - Dr. Karin Vargervik||2013 - Barbara Fisher|
|2013 - Tina Hollcroft||2014 - Tina Hollcroft|
|2014 - Dr. Chih-Chen Fang|
|2015 - Mary Jensen|
|2016 - Dr. Billy De Shazo|
Decade of Leadership Award
In order to celebrate dedication to AfS on the occasion of our 10th Anniversary, the Decade of Leadership Award was created to honor four remarkable individuals who have given of their skills and talents from the beginning days of Alliance for Smiles.
- Barbara Fisher
- John Goings
- Dr. Karin Vargervik
- Dr. Colin Wong
In 2009 Alliance for Smiles launched its Legacy Campaign to encourage individuals to make a minimum $5000 one-time donation; or to make multiple donations through-out the year adding up to $5000. Participation in this campaign is recognized by membership in a special Legacy Club that will be publicized on the website, at the Gala and in literature. Everyone who donated a minimum $5000 by December 31, 2009 became a Charter Member of this very special Club.
|Legacy Club Charter Members||Legacy Club 2010-2011|
|Burt Berry||Burton Berry|
|Wilber Breseman||Wilber Breseman|
|Tai Can -Wang||Tai Can-Wang|
|Dr. Wallace Chang||Cecile Chiquette|
|Cecile Chiquette||David De Roode|
|David De Roode||Jim Deitz|
|James Deitz||John Goings|
|John Goings||Allan Herzog|
|Allan Herzog||Silvia Iselin|
|Bing Shin Ho||Mary Jensen|
|Howard Ho||Benjamin Lam|
|Joe Hoffman||Dr. Quentin Li|
|Benjamin Lam||Anna Marie Marcias|
|Edward Lau||Dr. Thomas Mack|
|Jojo and Noime Liangco||James Patrick|
|Dr. Thomas Mack||Angelo Rebizzo|
|Gary Mitchell||Dr. Collin Wong|
|James Patrick||Edith Richter|
|Stacey Quo||Robert and Kathryn Smith|
|Eng Rung Tsai||John Uth|
|John Uth||Dr. Karin Vargervik|
|Dr. Colin Wong|
|Choi Chung Yuen|
Individuals are inspired to volunteer and donate because of their belief in the work of an organization. Especially when considering humanitarian programs, the emotions felt because of participation in a program that changes lives can have a sincere and long lasting impact.
For many, what an individual accomplishes during his or her lifetime is totally satisfying and fulfilling. Involvement in family, friends and work create a sense of well being. However, for those who want to make a mark in another way and share more of their talents and wealth with humanitarian concerns, involvement in a cause can be extremely rewarding. When they pass, they will have left a humanitarian legacy.
Those people involved in the work of Alliance for Smiles, whether as volunteers or donors, are leaving a legacy that goes beyond the lives of the children receiving surgery. It extends to the patients’ families and to their villages. Alliance for Smiles heals tens of thousands of lives when considering the extended community affected.
To carry on the work of Alliance for Smiles, funding is crucial. Therefore, those individuals who are willing and able to make significant donations are core to program sustainability. These individuals have the opportunity to allow the work of Alliance for Smiles to progress, building on an impressive past.
Therefore in 2009 Alliance for Smiles launched its Legacy Campaign to encourage individuals to make a minimum $5000 one time or multiple time donation to the work of AfS. Participation in this campaign will be recognized by membership in a special Legacy Club that will be publicized on the website, at the Gala and in literature. Everyone who donated a minimum $5000 by December 31, 2009 became a Charter Member of this very special Club.
Alliance for Smiles was formally founded by five individuals: John Uth, John Goings, James Patrick, James Deitz and Anita Stangl. However, Alliance for Smiles wanted to recognize individuals who made a leap of faith in the concept of the work of Alliance for Smiles and decided to donate a minimum of $20,000 during the first four years of operation. They are also founders of Alliance for Smiles and will be recognized in perpetuity as such. The following individuals receive the honor of this unique position:
|Mr. Burton Berry||Mrs. Debbie Jefkin-Elnakave|
|Mr. Bill Benter||Mr. Benjamin Lam|
|Mr. Wilber Breseman||Mrs. Noime Liangco|
|Dr. Wallace Chang, M.D.||Dr. Thomas Mack, D.V.M.|
|Ms. Cecile Chiquette||Mr. Donald Parachini|
|Dr. Scharleen Colant, Ph.D.||Mr. James Patrick|
|Dr. James Deitz, Ph.D.||Ms. Esther Rebizzo|
|Ms. Barbara Fisher||Ms. Dee Dee Ricks|
|Mr. John Goings||Dr. Alan Stormo, M.D.|
|Allan and Nancy Herzog||Mr. Eng-Rung Tsai|
|Mr. Howard Ho||Mr. John Uth|
|The Family of Taipei||Tai and Tony Wang (W.A.C. Lighting)|
|Mr. Joseph Hoffman||Dr. Colin and Mrs. Silvana Wong|
Rotary Clubs who supported the work of Alliance for Smiles during its first four formative years with donations of $25,000 or more received the honor of being Founding Rotary Clubs. Alliance for Smiles recognizes three Rotary Clubs with this title and they will be recognized in perpetuity for their faith in the work and dreams of Alliance for Smiles.
The Rotary Club of San Francisco
The Rotary Club of Chicago
The Rotary Club of Wanchai, Hong Kong
Alliance for Smiles wishes to thank the above individuals and Rotary Clubs for their support which has helped Alliance for Smiles to not only facilitate medical missions during its first four years but to prosper and grow.