Let the Healing Begin

Our Mission

Provide quality surgical and dental services to poor and under-privileged children and young adults in various countries throughout the world as well as facilitate the transfer of education, knowledge and recent innovations to the local medical communities.

At its inception, Medical Missions for Children (MMFC) went to one country to help a handful of children and with a goal. That goal was to build sustainable health care, education and social services infrastructure, thereby enhancing life in the underserved areas of the world. Today, 25 years later, MMFC now conducts close to 20 missions a year and has operated on over 27,000 children. MMFC accomplishes its goals by building long-term relationships and sending volunteer teams to more than 15 countries in those 25 years. Overall, the need is staggering with more than 170,000 children born with cleft lip and palate deformities each year and a backlog of over eight million children and adults who are born with these congenital facial deformities and are currently awaiting this surgery. MMFC’s seeks to increase access to care for children in some of the more isolated and under-served areas of the world while at the same time creating a sustainable health care model.

MMFC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a dedicated group of approximately 375 volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists, medical, dental, speech and nutritional specialists. Our volunteer team members use their personal vacation time to travel to some of the most remote and underprivileged geographical locations around the world in order to help heal children and young adults. The focus of our missions is the surgical repair of cleft lip and palate deformities, burn injuries, microtia (absence of the outer ear) and head/neck tumors.  Dental specialists, nutritionists and speech pathologists also participate in our surgical missions further increasing our range of services provided to the local population of the countries which we serve. Our volunteers hail from the most well respected hospitals and teaching institutions in the United States and abroad.

MMFC provides its surgeries free of charge to these children, who would otherwise never have access to this care. These surgeries resolves health complications and speech impediments and most importantly, restores dignity to a child and his family. Children who receive this surgery are given the opportunity to stay in school and become productive members of the community. In addition to restoring children to wholeness, MMFC also utilizes its missions as an opportunity to both train and empower local physicians/nurses, as well as provide training to US-based physician residents who are part of our mission teams. This process enhances our ability to create a model of self-sufficiency in-country. It also affords us the opportunity to train the next generation of surgeons while simultaneously introducing them to the world of community medical service.

MMFC’s goal is a sustainable, repeatable approach to a very solvable problem: cleft lip and palate repair. Our sustainable model addresses this issue with cutting edge solutions. In addition to helping children through surgery we are also transferring knowledge and skills to the areas we serve by providing training to local doctors in developing countries to provide cleft repair surgery in their communities. These trips provide care to underserved populations in underserved countries. And although each child’s life story may be unique, the underlying struggle remains the same in every corner of the globe: the children we care for live in a world where the only thing in more desperate supply than medical care is any hope for a life of wholeness and health. It is through the generosity of our donors and volunteers that we are able to continue to bring smiles to the faces of young children around the world.

Members of the Board

Gil Arie, JD, LL.B, LL.M
Foley Hoag LLP

Charles Badaoui, DMD. RPh
MMFC Treasurer, Copley Dental Associates,
Assistant Clinical Professor,
Tufts University Dental School

Rafael Barrera, MD
NSLIJ Medical Director, SICU Northwell Health

Shadi Daher, DMD, FICD, FAAOMS
MMFC President, Clinical Assistant Professor,
Boston University School of Dental Medicine,
Boston Medical Center

Marc B. Ehrenpreis, MD
Director of Pediatric Anesthesiology,
New York-Presbyterian/Queens
Clinical Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology,
Department of Anesthesiology,
Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Helen A. John-Kelly, MD MMFC Medical Director, Pediatric Gastroenterolgy and Nutrition, Cottage Childrens Hospital , Santa Barbara, CA

Dennis Kogod
Chief Executive Officer (retired)
DaVita Healthcare Partners

Noah S. Siegel, MD
Medical Director of Otolaryngology,
Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Longwood.
Division Chief, Pediatric Otolaryngology,
Instructor in Otolaryngology, Part-time,
Harvard Medical School.

Dennis Snyder, MD, FACS MMFC Chairman, ENT Specialists, Inc., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Tufts Medical Center/Otolaryngology

Pacifico M. Tuason, MD
Instructor in Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School,
Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine,
Massachusetts General Hospital

Robert F. Ward, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology,
New York University Medical College


MMFC is managed by their Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is a body of elected appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of the organization.

Executive Staff

Frank ODonnell, JD MPA
Executive Director

Kiki Polemenakos
Mission Coordinator

Dianna de Rochemont
Office Manager

Materials Management


Adriane True
Materials Mgmt

Diane Koch
Materials Mgmt

Natalie Harris
Materials Volunteer

Professional Services

Nada J. Rizkallah, C.P.A.
NJR Services

Roberta Anslow
Graphic Design
Charity Golf Tournament Coordinator roberta.anslow@gmail.com  roberta anslow.com