DEERFIELD -- The Baxter International Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Baxter International Inc. is providing a $2.2 million grant to Operation Smile, one of the world's largest volunteer-based surgical nonprofit organizations, to deliver free surgical and multidisciplinary care to underserved communities in India.
During the next three years, the grant will support Operation Smile's year-round care centers in Mumbai, Srinagar and Bangalore -- operated in partnership with the Inga Health Foundation -- along with a new care center in Durgapur, West Bengal. These centers treat patients of all ages with cleft conditions and/or other facial differences and work to improve the quality and completeness of cleft care in the country.
"Since we founded Operation Smile in 1982, we've always envisioned a world where health and dignity are improved in communities around the world through access to safe surgery," said Bill Magee, co-founder and chief executive officer of Operation Smile. "We're grateful that Baxter shares our aspiration to transform health care around the world and bring care to underserved communities. Working together will allow us to contribute to strengthening the health systems in India and to bring the provision of safe surgery to those who need it most."
The Operation Smile center in Durgapur at the IQ City Narayana Multispecialty Hospital opened earlier this year and will serve as a hub for operations in West Bengal and its surrounding states to support surgical services, education and training and ongoing medical programs. During its first week in operation, nearly 70 patients received free health evaluations at the Durgapur center and surgeons performed more than 25 procedures.