Smile Train Appoints New Members to Medical Advisory Board

Press Release

Members Bring a Wealth of Knowledge and Expertise in Cleft Care Treatment

NEW YORK – Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft organization, today announced the addition of four new members to its Medical Advisory Board – Dr. Nivaldo Alonso, Dr. Catherine Crowley, Dr. Fernando Molina and Dr. Peter Mossey.

Led by world-renowned cleft surgeon, Dr. Larry Hollier, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S (Surgeon-in-Chief of the Texas Children’s Hospital, and Chief of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine), Smile Train’s Medical Advisory Board is comprised of experts from various disciplines covering surgery, anesthesia, genetics, orthodontics, and speech therapy. Smile Train relies on the board to help ensure that all its programs offer safe, high-quality comprehensive cleft treatment for the children we serve.

“As Smile Train continues to empower local partners to increase access to surgical, anesthesia, and comprehensive cleft care in low- and middle-income countries, the safety of patients and quality of care remains our priority. The organization’s Medical Advisory Board has developed a Safety and Quality Protocol that sets the required standards for safe surgery and anesthesia care at Smile Train medical partners around the world,” said Dr. Hollier. “It is essential that we have a Medical Advisory Board with diverse backgrounds to develop guidelines, training programs and research initiatives focusing on comprehensive cleft care.”

“We are thrilled to welcome our group of new board members. These individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise in comprehensive cleft care treatment and will be a great asset in guiding Smile Train’s global cleft treatment programs,” said Susannah Schaefer, Smile Train President & Chief Executive Officer.

The new members of the Medical Advisory Board include:

Dr. Nivaldo Alonso, MD, Ph.D., is the Associate Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Department of Surgery and Director of Craniofacial Surgery at the Hospital das Clínicas at the University of São Paulo (USP). He is also the Clinical Director of the Craniofacial Unit of the Hospital for Craniofacial Anomalies at the USP and past President of the Brazilian Association of Craniofacial Surgery, 2000-2002. He has been a Smile Train partner surgeon since 2008 and has led trainings for many partners across Brazil. Dr. Nivaldo is also the Chairman of the Smile Train Brazil Medical Advisory Council.

Dr. Catherine Crowley, J.D., Ph.D., is the Professor of Practice​ and Director of the Bilingual Extension Institute at Teachers College Columbia University. She brings an international focus to her cleft palate speech support work and has developed the Cleft Palate Speech Training Project which provides workshops for parents and colleagues who work with children with repaired cleft palates. She has developed videos in Spanish and English for parents and professionals on strategies to address cleft palate speech. She has led speech professional capacity building efforts at Smile Train partner hospitals in Africa, the Americas, and South East Asia.

Dr. Fernando Molina, is the President of the Dr. Fernando Ortiz Monasterio Craniofacial Anomalies Foundation and was the Chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division at Hospital General Dr. Gea Gonzalez (HGDGG). He is a Professor of Plastic Surgery at the Postgraduate Unit of the School of Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He has conducted more than 75 Instructional Courses on Osteodistraction in 30+ countries. He is a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers, of the National Medicine Academy and the International Editorial Committee of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal. He has been a Smile Train partner since 2002. Dr. Molina is the Chairman of the Smile Train Mexican Medical Advisory Council.

Dr. Peter Mossey, is the Associate Dean for Internationalization at University of Dundee Dental School, and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Craniofacial Anomalies. He is the Leader for the Craniofacial Anomalies theme in the WHO Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Birth Defects Initiative. He was appointed Honorary Secretary of the Craniofacial Anomalies Group of the IADR Global Oral Health Inequalities Research Network (GOHIRN) initiative in August 2012. He is also an expert on Smile Train’s – FDI (World Dental Congress) project which aims to create oral health and dental care guidelines and training programs for community dentists, cleft teams and families affected by cleft worldwide.

Smile Train's sustainable model empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. For the last 20 years, we have supported safe and quality cleft care for more than 1.5 million children and will continue to do so until every child in need with a cleft has access to the care they deserve.

For more information on Smile Train's Medical Advisory Board, please visit To learn more about Smile Train's global efforts and to make a donation, please visit Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrain and like us on Facebook at


About Smile Train
Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit

Media Contacts
Nijha Diggs
Senior Director of Public Relations