Smile Train International Scholars

October 19, 2012 | Smile Train

New York, NY — Smile Train partner surgeons Dr. Lisa Hasibuan and Dr. Ataklitie Berhea recently received scholarships to travel to the United States for advanced training in Interdisciplinary cleft care. The award was sponsored through a collaboration of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, and Smile Train.

Advancing interdisciplinary, comprehensive cleft care.

Smile Train is dedicated to providing the highest quality cleft care to our patients of the same level found in developed countries. With that in mind, we are happy to announce that partner surgeons Dr. Lisa Hasibuan and Dr. Ataklitie Baraki Berhea have begun their advanced training through the ASPS/PSF/Smile Train International Scholarship Program. The advanced interdisciplinary training that they receive will help our Smile Train partner surgeons implement similar approaches and greatly enhance the cleft care that they provide.

Watch Dr. Hasibuan on Smile Train and her scholarship.



Dr. Lisa Hasibuan


"I hope to improve my skills and to expand to other areas that could also benefit my cleft patients. In addition to building my technical skills, I would also like to learn how I can build a strong and integrated cleft team."

Dr. Hasibuan has been a Smile Train surgeon since 2006. She has worked with four Smile Train partners (Jalinan Kasih, Obor Berkat, Bandung Cleft Lip and Palate Center, and Yayasan Mlatti) at 12 hospitals throughout Indonesia.

During her time as a Smile Train surgeon, Dr. Hasibuan has performed 310 free, high-quality surgeries for needy cleft patients.

As an ASPS/PSF/Smile Train International Scholar Dr. Hasibuan will spend the next few weeks learning advanced cleft surgical techniques as well as interdisciplinary cleft care. She is working with a cleft team from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and has joined another team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas for the second half of her training.

Be sure to check out the Smile Train blog for an update from Dr. Hasibuan.

WatchDr. Ataklitie on Smile Train and his scholarship.

Dr. Ataklitie Baraki Berhea, Ethiopia


"I hope to improve my personal performance as a surgeon and also be exposed to and learn new procedures. I am looking forward to have an opportunity for a cultural exchange between the two hemispheres. As an assistant professor at Addis Ababa University, I have the unique opportunity to share my experiences and transfer my new knowledge to my students.“

Dr. Ataklitie became a Smile Train surgeon in 2007. Although based in Ethiopia, Dr. Ataklitie has traveled to seven other countries throughout Eastern and Central Africa with AMREF (Africa Medical and Research Foundation) to perform cleft surgeries. In his native Ethiopia, Dr. Ataklitie regularly travels to five hospitals in various parts of the country. Thanks to the tireless work of this Smile Train surgeon, Ethiopia has been able to provide more surgeries than the estimated annual cleft births for each year since 2009. During his time as a Smile Train surgeon, Dr. Ataklitie has performed over 2,500 free, high-quality surgeries for needy cleft patients.

As one of only eight plastic surgeons in Ethiopia, Dr. Ataklitie works alongside the seven others, all of whom attended medical school together. Dr. Ataklitie credits Smile Train for allowing this group to go from treating 150 cleft patients a year to now providing over 3,000 free cleft surgeries annually.

Dr. Ataklitie began studying at New York University with Dr. Joseph McCarthy, a former member of Smile Train's Medical Advisory Board and has since traveled to the University of Washington in Seattle.

He attended our World Smile Day® celebration and was able to meet some of our great student fundraisers.