New Frontiers in Public Service and Patient Care
UCLA Orthodontics Makes an Impact--In China!
I would like to share the new achievement and affiliation that the orthodontic department has done. During the past few years, we have been working on the international outreach craniofacial program and hosted quite a few orthodontists and plastic surgeons from China to UCLA. Our goal is to eventually help China to establish craniofacial centers. Recently, working with the Lee Ka-Shing Foundation, we successfully convinced the foundation to donate 6 M US dollars with 6 M matching from the Chinese government to establish three cleft lip/palate centers in China, total of 13 M projects. The director of the first center is a fellow who came from our craniofacial visiting fellowship program. Once this is set up, we estimate over 1,000 CF children per year in China's rural areas will receive the quality care they need or otherwise will not be treated. We will continue to provide training support for these centers.
I would like to thank all the faculty and residents involved in helping and hosting these fellows. I would also like to emphasize that we are not compensated for all these work and all the costs are incurred by out of pocket salary from our faculty and donations. As our Section's mission, we are trying to provide care to the needed children, not just the privileged ones. As American, we are making this world a better world and there is no place for prejudice and discrimination in our Section.
Last year, two Chinese doctors traveled all the way from Shantou University to spend six months shadowing UCLA School of Dentistry orthodontists and oral surgeons and UCLA plastic surgeons. Their goal was to observe “best practices" in the United States in order to establish a dedicated cleft lip and palate center at their home medical school.
It now looks like their dream is about to become a reality.
Chinese billionaire and philanthropist Mr Li. Ka-shing has committed $6 Million to the project of building a craniofacial clinic at Shantou University. Additionally, the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs announced that it intends to match the funding on a 1:1 basis. When completed, this new multi-disciplinary clinic will make it possible to offer free cleft lip and palate surgery to rural children, many of whom are currently without medical and dental care. Expectations are that the Shantou clinic will open in July and that others will follow in other regions throughout China.
The UCLA School of Dentistry would like to acknowledge the philanthropic gift that kicked off this positive chain of events halfway around the world. Dr. Felix Yip, a visionary and a longtime friend of the School, generously funded the Chinese doctors’ Los Angeles visit.