Rotaplast is Changing Faces in Many Places

Rotaplast a non-profit humanitarian organization providing free reconstructive surgery and treatment to those with cleft palate and related anomalies in developing countries. We promote self-sufficiency in the countries where we work by training local physicians, counseling families, and collaborating with health officials on the development of sustainable cleft palate programs.

The Rotary Connnection

Rotaplast International, Inc. was founded in 1992 by Dr. Angelo Capozzi and the then Rotary Club President Peter Lagarias in collaboration with the Rotary Club of San Francisco to facilitate a surgical program in La Serena, Chile to treat children with the cleft lip and palate anomaly who would otherwise not receive surgical intervention. This initial historic mission took place in January of 1993.

As a project of the Rotary Club of San Francisco, and for the first three years of its existence, Rotaplast completed one surgical mission a year. Dr. Capozzi and other volunteers at opening day clinicThe following two years, Rotaplast completed two missions a year. In 1996, Rotaplast became a separate non-profit corporation and has since consistently expanded its number of annual missions. In May 2008 Rotaplast sent its 124th mission and to date has served over 10,000 children. 18 countries have hosted Rotaplast teams, including Vietnam, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Romania, China, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Brazil and the Philippines. Hundreds of medical and non-medical volunteers who give their valuable time, and generous organizations such as hospitals and medical equipment companies which give supplies, account for the consistent success and expansion of Rotaplast missions.

Rotaplast would not exist without funding provided by partners. Although a San Francisco-based organization, Rotaplast works nationally and internationally by partnering with Rotary Clubs, other organizations, and individuals across the United States, Canada and mission sites. It provides a vehicle for medical professionals and non-medical volunteers to actively engage in projects that build international friendships and promote goodwill and understanding among the peoples of the world.

Highlights & Accomplishments

1996 Rotaplast becomes a separate non-profit corporation.
1997 Rotaplast expands missions from 2 to 4 per year and hires an Executive Director.
1998 Rotaplast operates on its 1000th child in Cumana, Venezuela
2000 Rotaplast expands its core program to include genetic research.
2001 Rotaplast establishes a Prevention and Treatment Center in Mendoza, Argentina.
2002 Rotaplast begins working in Asia.
2004 Rotaplast facilitates its first mission to India.
2005 Rotaplast completes its 15th Mission and reaches over 8,000 children by year’s end.
2006 Rotaplast expands to Africa with an inaugural mission to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
2007 Rotaplast operates on its 10,000th child in Cumana, Venezuela
2008 Rotaplast visits Nepal and Brazil for the first time in its history.
2009 Rotaplast travels to Egypt for its first mission in the Middle East

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