Smile Train, By Bryce Neier

Smile Train is an international organization that provides free corrective surgery to children born with clefts; follows through on surgical correction when necessary with speech therapy, orthodontics, and general dentistry; and trains medical professionals in the treatment of clefts.  About 170,000 children annually are born worldwide with cleft lip and cleft palate, congenital deformities which interfere with their ability to eat and speak. If uncorrected, they can cause significant psychological and social issues as children grow older.

Established in 1999 by advertising professional Brian Mullaney and computer software executive Charles Wang, the original focus of Smile Train was the training of local medical professionals to perform the cleft-correcting surgery. It since refined its mission to pay those local professionals directly for each corrective surgery performed as well as to serve the cleft-related needs of the children after surgery. Smile Train concentrates its efforts solely serving children born with clefts; to this end, it has established relationships with over 1,100 hospitals in over 75 countries worldwide.

In 2008, Smile Train produced the Academy Award-winning documentary Smile Pinki. The movie illustrated the dramatic changes in the life of a poor Indian girl after she received free surgery to correct her cleft lip.

About the Author: Bryce Neier, JD, practices family law in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is an enthusiastic supporter of causes, like Smile Train, that help children overcome childhood ailments and conditions that might otherwise prevent them from achieving a fruitful adult life.


Author: Bryce Neier

Attorney Bryce Neier practices through his private firm, The Law Office of Bryce D. Neier, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Focused on issues that strongly effect families, Neier has chosen to center his practice on complex divorce proceedings and child custody issues, and involves himself in many aspects of civil rights litigation. He regularly contributes his time to the Alliance Defense Fund to help protect concepts such as religious freedom and traditional family values. Neier brings real-world experience to the table outside of the legal field. Prior to attending law school, Bryce Neier, a nominee to the United States Military Academy at West Point, attended Stetson University on an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship. After receiving his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance, Neier served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany for five years. He received both an Army Achievement Medal and an Army Commendation Medal and attained the rank of Captain before leaving active duty to pursue a legal career. A member of the North Carolina State Bar, Neier completed his Juris Doctor through Campbell University School of Law in Buies Creek, North Carolina. With professional experience spanning two decades, Neier began his career during his final year of law school when he served as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the District of South Carolina. Upon the completion of his degree, he was appointed to an Assistant Public Defender position in the state of North Carolina. He later went on to practice as an Associate at the Law Office of H. Terry Hutchens; from there he went on to practice as a Partner at The Law Firm of Brown and Neier. Bryce Neier attends Hay Street United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Neier also regularly contributes to multiple charities including the ChildFund, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Smile Train Inc., an organization that helps to provide cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in developing countries.

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