FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact:
April 27, 2010 Jessica Kraft, Director of Public Relations
757-321-3207 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Operation Smile Announces the Winners of the
2010 Outstanding Volunteer Awards
NORFOLK, Va. – They cuddle children who fear upcoming surgeries and they comfort the parents who are apprehensive of handing their babies to strangers. Ultimately, they heal children’s smiles around the world and give them hope for a better future. They are the volunteers who have dedicated their time and energy to help make Operation Smile a success for 28 years. Operation Smile is proud to announce the recipients of the 2010 Operation Smile Outstanding Volunteer Awards, to be honored during this week’s Volunteer Reception & Awards Ceremony.
With the help of more than 4,000 medical volunteers from around the world and through generous donations, Operation Smile provides free surgeries to children around the world to repair their smiles. Each year, more than 200,000 children are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, and are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. Since 1982, Operation Smile medical volunteers have treated more than 145,000 of those children.
WHAT: 2010 Operation Smile Volunteer Reception & Awards Ceremony, where the winners of the Outstanding Volunteer Awards will be honored
WHEN: Wednesday, April 28; 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: Town Center City Club in Virginia Beach, inside the Armada Hoffler building
222 Central Park Avenue, Suite 230 Second Floor
The following provides more details regarding the awards and recipients. For updates on Operation Smile’s global efforts, visit www.operationsmile.org, follow @operationsmile on Twitter, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/operationsmile.
Operation Smile Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award
Dr. J. Craig Merrell from Suffolk, Va.
Dr. Fouad Ourzik of Morocco
Operation Smile has been a major part of Dr. J. Craig Merrell's life since 1984. He served for almost 20 years as the Director of Microsurgery for Operation Smile and participated in nearly 30 medical missions including 15 to Hanoi, Vietnam where he and his colleagues introduced the subspecialty of microsurgery. Dr. Merrell’s family spent more than a year donating their time to help the people of the Philippines, Kenya, Ghana, Liberia, Romania, Morocco, and Vietnam. He participated in Operation Smile’s World Journey of Hope, where he worked in Casablanca, Morocco and on The Flying Hospital where he and his colleagues performed corrective surgery for more than 200 children suffering from a variety of congenital facial defects. Dr. Merrell has been in private practice in the Hampton Roads area since 1983. He contributed as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
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Dr. Fouad Ourzik is a dedicated plastic surgeon, who started with Operation Smile Morocco since the first day of its establishment in 1998 and continues to assist in almost every medical mission in Morocco, as well as Jordan, Ethiopia and Russia, helping more than 800 children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. For two young World Care patients from Morocco, Amine Maksi and Rkia Hummadi, Dr. Ourzik conducted pre- and post-operatory follow-ups for craniofacial reconstructions after their operations in the United States. Dr. Ourzik participated in Global Standards and World Summit meetings. His colleagues note that Dr. Ourzik considers each child as his own baby and treats them all with kindness and respect.
Volunteer of the Year
Lucia Mauer, RN of Seattle, Wa.
Dr. Patrick McQuillan of Hershey, PA
In 1996, Lucia Mauer joined Operation Smile on her first medical mission to Colombia, where she was born. In the last 14 years, she has volunteered for more than 40 medical missions in Mexico, China, Cambodia, Bolivia during a time of civil unrest, and most recently to Haiti during Operation Smile’s first-ever disaster response medical mission after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. She is a member of Operation Smile’s Seattle chapter, helping with fundraising auctions, serving as a board member and speaking publicly for Operation Smile at events and functions. In 2006, Lucia was the Nursing Instructor for the first Operation Smile Clinical Coordinator workshop in Latin America. In 2007, she co-authored the Critical Nursing Skills Training Program. The program focused on the skill level of local nurses to prepare them as clinical partners for Operation Smile’s World Journey of Smiles. “From the moment I participated on my first mission, I realized what an amazing organization Operation Smile is,” Lucia said. “Its mission statement, goals, children and families it served touched my heart. I made a personal commitment to continue to give of my time and skills to help the many children born with cleft lip and cleft palate around the world. Fourteen years later and 40-plus missions, I feel this journey has been a privilege.”
Dr. Patrick McQuillan has served as a medical volunteer with Operation Smile for over 20 years, participating in many medical missions to Vietnam, China and Columbia. He is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist and Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. As a PALS and ACLS instructor, he has participated in many Operation Smile Physicians' Training Programs. In 2008, Dr. McQuillan received the Operation Smile Dr. Lionel Glassman Award for Excellence in Volunteerism in the field of anesthesiology. Dr. McQuillan has coauthored two books and collaborated on many research projects.
U.S. Care Network Award
Dr. Richard S. Rosenblum from Norfolk, Va.
Dr. Richard Rosenblum has dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours to help children here in the United States, through Operation Smile’s U.S. Care Network. Because cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities know no geographic boundaries, Operation Smile’s U.S. Care Network referral service is available to families in the United States, so they may find the help they need for their children.
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Dr. Rosenblum was the first-ever student of Norfolk Academy to participate on a medical mission with Operation Smile, when he traveled to the Philippines as a student volunteer. After attending the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, to further specialize in facial and cosmetic surgery, he completed a fellowship with Operation Smile’s Co-Founder and CEO Dr. William P. Magee, Jr. and Operation Smile International. In 2007, Dr. Rosenblum returned to the Philippines with Operation Smile during the World Journey of Smiles initiative, the largest medical mission of its kind. There, Operation Smile coordinated 40 simultaneous medical missions in 25 countries. Free physical examinations were provided to 7,414 patients and 4,086 children born with cleft lips and cleft palates received surgeries and new smiles. Dr. Rosenblum’s practice, Rosenblum Plastic Surgery, is a state-of-the-art surgical center in Virginia Beach.
The Michael Reusing Award
Barbara Nachman of Newport News, Va.
Jeanne Hugo of South Africa
This award was named after Michael Reusing, a dedicated Operation Smile non-medical volunteer who died of cancer in 2004.
Barbara Nachman has volunteered with Operation Smile for almost seven years. She has participated in 18 international missions, helped on fundraising events, served as the volunteer coordinator for the World Care committee, and volunteered weekly in the medical records office. Her professional experience is in the field of social work, and she earned a Master of Social Work degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She endlessly gives back to her community, by volunteering with Operation Smile as well as six other philanthropic organizations. “Through the work I have done and the friendships I have made, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I can be a part of enriching the lives of others around the globe as well as learning from them,” Barbara commented.
Jeanne Hugo lives in South Africa, and has thrown herself into her volunteer work with Operation Smile. She began as a Patient Imaging Technician during a Madagascar medical mission in 2008, and served as a student sponsor during several medical missions, most recently on the 2010 Rwanda mission. Jeanne is an integral member of the Cape Town chapter and heads up the “GownWorx” project that provides handmade gowns to every patient of Operation Smile South Africa. She hosted two Mission Training Workshops in South Africa with Operation Smile South Africa, and helped establish six new student clubs in Cape Town.
Donna Poe-Davis Nursing Award of Excellence
Marie Rathe, FNP of Mandeville, La.
This award is presented to an Operation Smile volunteer nurse who has served on international medical missions, shown leadership and made significant contributions to Operation Smile. Marie started volunteering with Operation Smile in 1998, and since then, has volunteered for 24 medical missions as an operating room nurse and clinical coordinator.
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Her most recent Operation Smile medical mission was to Haiti to help with the organization’s disaster response. Marie has worked as a nurse for 33 years and serves on Operation Smile’s nursing council. She works for Ochsner Health Systems in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery as a Nurse Practitioner and First Surgical Assistant in Louisiana. Marie and her husband of 32 years, David, are the proud parents of two daughters – one who is following in her mother’s footsteps and volunteering with Operation Smile.
Be Someone Student Award
Emma, Mara, Connor and Liam Dempsey of Virginia Beach, Va.
Emma (age 6), Mara (age 8), Connor (age 11), and Liam (age 13) moved to Virginia Beach two years ago and since then, the entire family has been dedicated to helping Operation Smile. All the children have run in the Operation Smile Final Mile, and last year, Mara met a World Care patient, Walter, with her 2nd grade class. The family is committed to donating one smile each year, and each of them volunteer at local events. "It feels good and warm inside when I participate in the Operation Smile Final Mile,” Mara said. “It helps children with cleft lip and cleft palate and it makes their days feel better. Their parents feel really glad when their child gets the cleft lip surgery so they have a beautiful smile."
Excellence in Volunteerism Family Award
The Budorick Family from Virginia Beach, Va.
Sue and Tim Budorick, along with their four children, have dedicated numerous hours to helping Operation Smile and the children in need. Tim worked with Operation Smile in Haiti, during the organization’s disaster response. Lauren Budorick, who is completing her freshman year at Duke University, volunteered on a medical mission to Cairo. Lauren first became involved with Operation Smile during her freshman year in high school when she volunteered at an Operation Smile golf tournament, and she then joined the Operation Smile club at First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach. Her sister, Kate, is following in her big sister’s footsteps and is a member of that same club. In 2008, the family opened up their home to host an Operation Smile World Care patient.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Founded in 1982 by Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children’s medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 145,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities and the organization has a presence in more than 50 countries. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.
6435 Tidewater Drive ■ Norfolk, VA 23509 ■ PHONE 757.321.SMILE (7645) ■ FAX 757.321.7660