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John Connor, a Vietnam War Veteran and friend of co-founder, Dr. Bill Magee, initiated the first Medical Mission to Vietnam. Through the invitation of General John W. Vessey Jr., a 38-member volunteer Medical team traveled to Hanoi and treated 100 Vietnamese children suffering from childhood facial deformities.


Operation Smile team led by the co-founders Bill and Kathy Magee, Mr. John Connor and Mr. Tom Jones run the second medical mission in Hanoi and the first mission in Ho Chi Minh city. The team brought 316 smiles to Vietnamese children.


A volunteer network of Vietnamese medical professionals led by Dr. Nguyen Huy Phan established Operation Smile Vietnam to mobilize generous hearts, dedicated for continuous treatments for children born with facial deformities. Dr. Nguyen Huy Phan was also the first Executive director of Operation Smile in Vietnam. In the same year, the organization launched the first micro-surgery mission in Hanoi and medical mission in Thua Thien Hue province.


Operation Smile launched the first medical mission in Hai Phong, where 144 patients received treatments.


The first medical mission were launched in Da Nang with 198 patient received surgeries.


Operation Smile returned to Ho Chi Minh City and brought smiles to 159 patients.


The first Operation Smile Vietnam Board of Sponsor were founded in Hanoi with representatives from American Corporations including: GE, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, De Matteis Vietnam, Gannon and Bloomberg L.P. This year also marked the partnership between Operation Smile and Baltimore Dental school of Maryland University. Follow this partnership, professors and outstanding students of Hanoi Medical School attended a three-week training course at Maryland.


The second group of 7 dental students of Hanoi Medical School traveled to Maryland University to attend the dental training course. In Vietnam, program continued with medical missions to Bac Thai and Can Tho and a micro -surgery in Ho Chi Minh City.


Operation Smile was officially granted the Operating License, with the office based in Hanoi inside Citibank. In the same year, Operation Smile Vietnam received the visit of United States Secretary of State of Madeleine K. Albright to Ho Chi Minh City and the visit of United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to Hanoi. The visits showed the importance role of Operation Smile in the he formal normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam


From April – November 1998, 466 patients were received free surgeries in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Binh and Tra Vinh. In December 1998, a team from University of Maryland led by Dr. Bill Magee III, Dr. Bill Davidson, and Dr. Michael Belenky travels to Hanoi for a two week conference and dental exchange and the first “Smiles of Vietnam” poster contest to increase children’s awareness of proper oral/dental hygiene


University of Maryland School of Dentistry Dr. William Magee III, Dr. Bill Davidson and Dr. Michael Belenky visited Hanoi Medical University and participated the first “Vietnam Smile” conference on dental care and treatment for children.

In this year, 85 patients were treated in medical mission to Hanoi, 142 patients were treated in medical mission to Ho Chi Minh City and 20 patients were treated in Noi Bai International Airport as part of Operation Smile World Journey of Hope. Dr. Bill Magee greeted by the Vietnam Vice President Mdm. Nguyen Thi Binh.


The first Operation Smile Vietnam Medical Mission took place at the Bac Lieu General Hospital in Bac Lieu province. The all- Vietnamese medical volunteer team provided life-changing surgeries to 85 children and young adults suffering from cleft lips and/or cleft palates.


The first craniofacial mission conducted in Ho Chi Minh City in partnership with Operation Smile Australia and Cho Ray Hospital (5 patients treated). Medical mission continued to conduct in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Quang Binh and Can Tho with more than 1000 patients treated.


Operation Smile announced the Global Standards of Care which applied to every Operation Smile Mission all over the world. The organization’s Global Standards of Care ensured every patient treated by Operation Smile benefits from the same sophisticated equipment, procedures and highly trained, credentialed medical volunteers, no matter where they receive treatment.


Operation Smile has annually held fund-raising event named “An Evening of Smiles” since 2003. The signature black-tie evening has helped to raise a phenomenal US$1,5 billion to date bringing a special gift for thousands of Vietnamese children in need.


Total 13 local cleft missions and 01 dental mission were conducted (01 medical mission to Laos) 4,870 patients were received dental treatment, 1,222 patients were receive free healthcare evaluations, 1,108 free and safe surgeries were performed by Operation Smile Vietnam medical volunteers.


Microsurgery workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City, taught by Dr. Robert Russell, Dr. Michael Neumeister and Dr. Seng-Feng Jeng.  37 Vietnamese medical professionals were trained.


Tenth annual dental mission conducted in Hanoi, Thai Binh and Hue where a team of 40 volunteers provided treatment for 3,678 patients. Four fully equipped dental vans provided by P/S (a division of Unilever) allowed hygienists to travel to schools teaching proper oral care through the “Protect Vietnamese Smiles Program.”

In Washington DC, Operation Smile and founders was honored by The Ministry of Health of Vietnam for its success in providing care for the people of Vietnam.


Operation Smile Vietnam opened its first Comprehensive Care Center in Hue in collaboration with the Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology of Hue and the Health Service Department of Thua Thien Hue. The center provides year-round comprehensive care by locally based teams of Operation Smile trained and credentialed medical professionals in the fields of plastic surgery, dentistry, pediatrics, and speech pathology and also provides psychosocial services to patients and their families. The Comprehensive Care Center will enable Operation Smile Vietnam to continue its craniofacial and microsurgery programs and provide education and training to medical professionals in Thuan Thien Hue and neighboring provinces.


USNS Mercy docks in Nha Trang. 90 patients are treated with the assistance of medical volunteer team from Operation Smile Vietnam and guest participant Cindy McCain.  


From this year, Operation Smile Vietnam had ability and capacity to conduct 24-40 medical missions per year, 90% of them were performed by local medical volunteers. Life Support Training Courses certified by American Heart Association (AHA) were held annually providing up-to-date education to local volunteers.


32 medical missions of all types: clef mission, microsurgery mission, craniofacial mission and burn mission. 2,662 free healthcare evaluations and 1,497 safe surgeries were performed.


25 medical missions and 1 dental mission were conducted, providing 2,363 free healthcare evaluation, 1,249 cleft surgeries, 102 burn surgeries and 20 craniofacial surgeries. More than 3,013 primary students were received dental treatment in Thua Thien Hue.


28 medical missions were conducted including 24 cleft missions, 2 dental missions to Thue Thien Hue and Vinh Phuc, 1 burn mission to Ho Chi Minh City and 1 craniofacial mission to Hanoi. 2,401 free healthcare evaluations and 1,347 safe surgeries were performed.


Operation Smile Vietnam medical team provided more than 2,800 free healthcare evaluation, performed 1,514 free surgeries, 57 burn surgeries, 17 craniofacial surgeries and 2 micro surgeries across the country.


2014 specially marks the 25th Anniversary of Operation Smile Vietnam.  On this occasion,  a one-of-a-kind event where a nationwide, simultaneous campaign will be conducted with the help of volunteers from 25 countries at 25 sites throughout Vietnam with the aim of putting new smiles on over 5,000 faces.  The campaign will commence on the 1st November and finish on the 22nd consisting of 25 missions and topped with 3 spectacular events.


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