Community Commitment

In 2008, Drs. Akers and Schalit founded Operation Changing Lives (OCL), a non-profit 501(C)(3)medical service organization based in Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. OCL’s primary purpose is to perform life-altering maxillofacial surgeries on disadvantaged patients with severe facial deformities, both in the United States and abroad.

Our Mission

We are changing lives one face at a time.

We believe that all people deserve to live their lives with dignity. For those suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities, dignity begins with a smile. In many cases those with deformities face uncertain futures because they cannot afford the surgery they need. Often they are too embarrassed to attend school and work. Every person deserves the ability to smile and a chance to thrive.

Our free, life-changing surgeries can give a person with a facial deformity a lifetime of smiles. After surgery, the person can become a more productive member of society and enrich their community.

Locally, OCL has provided surgical care to patients with extreme craniofacial deformities. Due to financial distress, these patients would otherwise be unable to have the surgeries necessary to correct their deformities.

Drs. John Akers and Dr. Curtis Schalit have made several trips to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to perform corrective surgeries for indigent patients. Other volunteer surgeons have and will continue to join them when traveling abroad, along with volunteer nurses, technicians, and other personnel necessary to perform the work. 

Thanks to the generosity and spirit of volunteerism shown by our supporters, we change numerous lives per year and give many patients a chance at a new life because of our work.

We hope you’ll join us with your support.

Operation Changing Lives is funded through donations from private donors and local businesses. Our free surgeries and medical missions are made possible by the volunteers and donors who generously contribute time, talent and resources to our cause. Drs. Akers, Schalit, Thayer, Hamilton and all who assist in providing surgical care do so on a purely voluntary basis, with no compensation for their time or services.