|Dr. Navin Singh|
An assistant professor of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins University with his own private practice, Dr. Navin Singh of Washingtonian Plastic Surgery knows a lot about improving appearances. He also knows a lot about improving the lives of children in need. Singh, along with fellow Johns Hopkins plastic surgeon Sachin Shridharani, wrote a book called Special Smiles, whose proceeds benefit Operation Smile, a charity devoted to helping children with cleft lips and palates.
Singh first began volunteering to reconstruct cleft lips and palates in India, China and Peru almost eight years ago. “It’s a part of our DNA as plastic surgeons to get involved with charity missions,” Singh said. “But what I found while I was over there was there was a deficiency in materials preparing the patients for what they were about to go through.”
He created three children of different nationalities in the illustrated Special Smiles to serve as courageous role models to inspire his recovering and future patients and their families. “One child in China, the first thing he said after he barely woke from the anesthesia was ‘Thank you’—and he had been preparing for a while to be able to say it in English,” said Singh.
Beyond making donations to the two charities he has worked with most closely, Operation Smile and ReSurge International (formerly Interplast), Singh encourages pediatricians, anesthesiologists, nurses and surgeons in the DC area to donate their time and skills to the cause.