"Smile House Project" - Operation Smile Foundation - € 40,000
The UniCredit Foundation supports Operation Smile by having children affected by facial disfigurement smile again
After years of commitment and cooperation with the international organization it belongs to, the Operation Smile Italia NGO Foundation responded to the many requests from adult patients and families with children affected by facial disfigurement in Italy looking for treatment from the Foundation's volunteer doctors.
In response to these requests, in 2011 Operation Smile leveraged their almost 40 years of experience around the world to launch a partnership with the Italian National Health Service, using their professionalism and knowledge to treat facial disfigurement, including cleft lip and palate. It was from here that Project Smile House began, a network-based effort at national level designed to manage the entire treatment process efficiently and effectively, from prenatal diagnosis to complete psychological and physical development. It provides aid to patients and their families, trains doctors and health-care workers in diagnosing and treating facial disfigurement and performs research to remain at the forefront of treatment.
Project Smile House was created in agreement with several public hospitals and local boards of health to integrate multidisciplinary courses of diagnostic treatment. It has established centers of excellence where children and their parents are followed through a multidisciplinary approach, which spans from prenatal diagnosis to adulthood.
Today, Project Smile House is active in five cities, with three diagnostic, surgical, training and research centers in Milan, Rome and Vicenza, and two additional diagnostic and treatment clinics in Cagliari and Ancona.
The UniCredit Foundation's support will contribute to the launch of the spoke clinic in Taranto, the third Smile House clinic in the country, which will have the important task of providing services complementary to surgery. They will provide information and support to families in the center and south of Italy who do not live near a Smile House hub, reducing health-related travel for treatments that are spaced out over time, such as orthodontic, speech therapy and psychological treatments, the latter of which are also offered to the young patients' parent.
The Partner - Operation Smile Italia NGO Foundation
Operation Smile Italia NGO Foundation is a non-profit organization for the benefit of society. Founded in Italy in 2000, the Foundation relies on a vast network of doctors, nurses and health-care workers to provide treatment and assistance in Italy and around the world, helping children and adults born with cranial and maxillofacial disfigurement such as cleft lip and palate. In Italy, it operates through Project Smile House, which avails of a virtuous partnership with the Italian National Health Service, integrating care, professional training and sector research. It also guarantees continuity of care, from prenatal diagnosis to adulthood, thereby reducing the social impact that these illnesses can cause, as they have the ability to lead to functional and appearance-related outcomes that can affect social integration