SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (May 4, 2024) – A team of dedicated surgical volunteers is set to embark on a humanitarian mission to Medellin, Colombia, with the aim of providing free cleft lip and palate surgeries to those in need. Organized by Rotaplast International, Rotary District 7430, Rotary District 5170, Club Rotario Medellín El Poblado, CES University, Maria Cano University and Hospital General de Medellín this mission reflects a commitment to improving the lives of individuals affected by cleft lip and palate conditions, empowering them to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Cleft lip and palate conditions are among the most common birth defects globally, affecting millions of individuals, particularly in underserved communities where access to healthcare resources may be limited. These conditions not only pose significant health challenges but also often lead to social stigma and isolation. By offering free surgical interventions, the volunteer team seeks to address both the physical and emotional burdens faced by individuals with cleft lip and palate conditions.

The team comprises highly skilled surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and support staff who are generously volunteering their time and expertise to serve the children of Medellin and beyond. They bring with them years of experience and a shared commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. Through their collective efforts, they aim to provide life-changing surgeries that will not only enhance the physical appearance of patients but also improve their ability to eat, speak, and socialize with confidence.

“In Medellin, our surgical clinic will provide as a guiding light of restoration,” said Dr. Angelo Capozzi, Medical Director and Co-Founder of Rotaplast International. “Each surgical procedure we perform goes beyond merely mending cleft lip and palate – it provides hope to reimagine lives and empowerment. In addition, the empathy and expertise of our volunteer surgical team, support team, and partners serves as a powerful force in our mission to bring positive change to children’s lives.”

Rotaplast has been working in Colombia since 2022, this will be Rotaplast’s third surgical trip to Medellin, Colombia. This location was chosen as Rotaplast has a close working relationship with the Government and patients are flown into Medellin by the Colombian Airforce from the rural areas for free care. The team will collaborate with local healthcare professionals and Universities to ensure seamless coordination and maximize the impact of their efforts. Beyond performing surgeries, they will be working with plastic surgery, anesthesia, and pediatric residents attending CES university.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with our local partners in Medellin to provide much-needed surgical care to individuals affected by cleft lip and palate conditions,” said Daniel DeSanto, Rotaplast International Executive Director. “Our team is driven by compassion and a shared commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others. We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside our local partners again and contribute to the health and well-being of the Medellin community.”

The mission to Medellin, Colombia, represents a testament to the power of collaboration, compassion, and volunteerism in addressing global health challenges. Through their selfless dedication, the surgical volunteers aim to not only transform individual lives but also inspire hope and resilience within communities while promoting international goodwill.

For more than 30 years, Rotaplast International has provided free life-changing reconstructive surgery to over 21,300 children in 26 countries. Globally, the incidence of cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, is 1 in every 700 births. Rotaplast’s primary mission is the treatment of children with cleft anomalies. However, in some locations, Rotaplast medical teams treat burn patients and those with other birth defects that can be corrected by plastic surgery.



Rotaplast International, Inc. is committed to helping children and families worldwide by eliminating the burden of cleft lip and/or palate, burn scarring, and other deformities. Working with local professionals, Rotarians, and other organizations, Rotaplast sends multidisciplinary medical teams to provide free reconstructive surgery, ancillary treatment, and training for the comprehensive care of these children. Rotaplast supports education and research towards prevention of cleft lip and/or palate. Our aim is to help local professionals build sustainable models for the care of these children, improving their lives and those of their families. Rotaplast International is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, humanitarian organization. Learn more at

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Sue Lowe | 415-523-2396 |

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