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Operation Smile Philippines Hosts NEXT Asia Summit 2017 July 13 – 15 In Manila in Partnership with St. Luke’s Medical Center

400 participants from 27 Countries will meet to build on 35 years of excellence in the delivery of safe surgical programs for children with facial deformities

Leading medical authorities who spearhead Operation Smile medical programs throughout Asia will convene at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City July 13 – 15 for NEXT Asia Summit 2017: Where Medical Innovation Meets Human InspirationNEXT Asia offers training through medically-focused skills workshops with emphasis on tracks in plastic surgery, anesthesia, nursing, speech and dental specialties. The more than 400 attendees from 27 countries will include Operation Smile medical volunteers and speakers from six Asian countries including the Philippines, as well as international delegates from Operation Smile’s Regan Resident Leadership Program, who represent the next generation of medical professionals.

Operation Smile Philippines has the distinction of hosting the first NEXT held outside the United States, envisioned as Operation Smile’s first regional medical summit. The NEXT conference began in the United States in 2014 and annually hosted hundreds of medical, volunteer and business leaders who met to explore the gap in global surgical care and collaborate on ways to overcome barriers to care.

It is significant that NEXT Asia, co-chaired by Operation Smile’s Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Bill Magee and Operation Smile Philippines Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ma. Irene Tangco, is taking place in the Philippines. After 35 years of successfully taking care of more than 31,000 surgical and dental patients in the Philippines, there is still an estimated backlog of 18,000 patients waiting for treatment. NEXT Asia provides expert training to educate and empower the next generation of medical professionals in the Philippines and around the world to address the backlog in the Philippines and globally.


According to Dr. Magee, “NEXT Asia represents our re-commitment to the children of the Philippines, the birthplace of Operation Smile, to continue to offer the highest standard of care for every patient with a facial deformity.”


Programs like NEXT Asia and the Regan Resident Leadership Program build skills in surgical care and strengthen health systems. In a recent survey of 208 surgeons who participated in the Resident Leadership Program, 92% agreed that this fellowship program significantly and positively impacted all six Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies.

NEXT Asia Summit 2017 is presented by Operation Smile in partnership with St. Luke’s Medical Center, a leading medical facility in the Philippines, which has garnered accreditations from The Joint Commission International (JCI), among others.  JCI is the international arm of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the oldest and most prestigious healthcare accreditation institution in the world. St. Luke's JCI accreditation validates its consistent compliance to stringent international patient safety quality standards, achievement of the highest level of patient care, improvement of patient outcomes and an environment for continuous improvement of standards.


According to St. Luke’s Manuel M. Canlas, “The NEXT Asia Summit is a forum for teaching, learning, and sharing through a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration with fellow volunteers. Our ultimate goal is PATIENT SAFETY in patient care management.” Canlas serves as Associate Director, Department of Clinical Advancement & Nursing Informatics, Nursing Care Group of St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City.

World renowned craniofacial surgeon Dr. Kenneth Salyer will deliver a keynote talk to the group highlighting his recent book, “A Life that Matters.” Dr. Brian Sommerlad, an honorary consultant plastic surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, will conduct several clinical sessions on cleft repair technique.

According to Operation Smile Co-Founder and President Kathy Magee, “NEXT is a crucial program because even after 35 years, the need for our work still outweighs the capacity to treat those who are waiting. Operation Smile won’t stop until we heal every child with a cleft. We will continue to bring attention to the global lack of access to safe surgery with the help of our many partners.”


Dr. Pedro Sanchez, lead geneticist, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology, USC Keck School of Medicine and Medical Geneticist at the Center for Personalized Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, will speak on “Pioneering Cleft Research” and will provide an overview on the International Family Research Project. Launched in 2009, the scientific study is led by The University of Southern California, Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Operation Smile in a joint initiative to understand clefts through the global collaboration of researchers and communities for a better quality of life. To date, nearly 13,000 individual saliva samples across almost 5,000 families have been collected, making it the world’s largest repository of genetic information relating to global cleft populations.

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