We strive to create a world where all barriers associated with cleft and craniofacial conditions are eliminated and children can achieve their full potential.

100% of the proceeds received through our campaigns benefit the Duke Cleft and Craniofacial Center within the Division of Plastic, Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery at Duke University.

Our partnership with Duke furthers our collaborative mission and values, with four primary aspects:


Cleft lip and palate is among the most common congenital conditions, affecting 1 in 700 people—that’s one baby every two hours in the United States. Cleft and craniofacial conditions can affect children physically, functionally and emotionally for their entire childhood into adult years. And not all children have access to today’s standard of care, even within the U.S.

Research advances clinical and surgical practices and establishes the best standards of care. Through funded research studies, Duke examines areas such as surgical and pre-surgical outcomes (for example, nasoalveolar molding or NAM), children’s feelings about their appearance and self-esteem, and families’ overall satisfaction with outcomes.

Duke has TWO robust labs dedicated to understanding, advancing and standardizing the clinical and surgical practice of cleft and craniofacial care. In addition, Duke is the center of a first-of-its-kind 15-year multi-site observational study analyzing the clinical and psychosocial outcomes related to children with cleft lip and/or palate.

With consent, research is integrated into every day clinical care at Duke. Data is tracked, new collection tools are being developed and networks are being established between different centers to work collaboratively and learn from each other. Together, we hope to optimize cleft care for all people and standardize it across all institutions.


Patients are at the heart of Smile Together.  Contrary to common thought, cleft and craniofacial conditions involve significantly more than just cosmetic corrections. Children require extensive and comprehensive care to ensure that feeding, speech and language, hearing, social and emotional health, orthodontic and surgical needs are not just met but performed to the maximum ability.

We believe that children with cleft and/or craniofacial conditions have the right to develop, learn and grow like all other children.

One of the key principles at Duke is to maximize outcomes while minimizing the burden of care (such as number of operations) that affects children and their families.  The differences at Duke are not just the excellent technical care provided, but the coordinated efforts by each team member and the personalized attention given to each family.


Sharing the knowledge, techniques and principles from the Duke Team can empower providers and improve cleft and craniofacial care throughout the world.

In addition to its own leading academic programs, the Duke Team educates through local, national and international conferences to improve the standards of care for our generation and future generations.

All areas of comprehensive care are addressed, including feeding, speech and hearing, otologic intervention, social and emotional wellness, team care, orthodontic intervention, and surgical techniques. Surgical videos have been developed to teach cutting edge surgical techniques. Additionally, members of the Duke Team travel with larger organizations, such as Smile Train, to spread education and intervention to areas of the world that don’t have local help.


Children with cleft and craniofacial conditions face certain hardships as they grow up. They undergo multiple operations and extensive therapeutic treatment throughout their childhood and adolescence. They miss school and may struggle with educational, social, or physical challenges leading kids to feel isolated.

Despite how common cleft lip/palate is, children with cleft or craniofacial differences may never have the opportunity to interact with others with similar conditions.

Community involvement encourages friendships and interactions with others who share the same challenges and accomplishments.

With hundreds of cleft and craniofacial patients, the Duke Team is uniquely positioned to bring the community together.

Research Activities

The Duke team holds a special place in my heart.

-Stacy Thomas Hanks

Learn how you can get involved.