Transforming Lives, One Smile at a Time: The HUGS Foundation
Dr. Quatela in the operating room on a HUGS surgical mission trip

In a world where kindness and compassion are more important than ever, there are individuals who stand out as beacons of hope, making a remarkable difference in the lives of others. Dr. Vito Quatela is one such individual whose dedication to creating beautiful smiles extends far beyond the private plastic surgery practice. Through the Help Us Give Smiles, or HUGS Foundation, Inc., the amazing team of medical professionals and volunteers are transforming lives, providing hope, and spreading positivity one smile at a time.

HUGS Foundation logo

The Vision of Dr. Vito Quatela

Dr. Vito Quatela is a world-renowned double board-certified facial plastic surgeon with a love for children and a passion for helping people look and feel their best. Beyond his remarkable skills in the operating room, Dr. Quatela believes that, “every human being has the fundamental right to the opportunity to grow and develop socially and intellectually without being ostracized or rejected due to physical abnormality.”

The HUGS Foundation was born out of Dr. Quatela’s desire to make a positive impact on the lives of children across the globe who face challenges related to their appearance. Driven by a strong sense of empathy and a commitment to giving back, he set out to create a foundation that would change lives through the power of surgery and facial rejuvenation.

Changing Lives, One Procedure at a Time

Dr. Koenig and a child on a HUGS medical mission trip.
Dr. Koenig with a cleft lip and palate patient.

The HUGS Foundation is dedicated to providing free, life-changing surgery to children with congenital deformities such as cleft lip, cleft palate, and microtia. Recently, cleft rhinoplasty surgery was added to ensure a continuum of service for patients in need. Teams travel to Ecuador, Guatemala, and Vietnam yearly. Dr. Quatela, Dr. Koenig, Dr. Lee, and Dr. Montague have all participated in multiple missions over the years.

Children born with congenital facial deformities are often rejected by their peers, community, and even family members in some cases. Through the efforts of the HUGS Foundation, Inc., teams of top plastic surgeons, medical staff, and volunteers are offering children the opportunity to regain their confidence, overcome adversity, and find new hope. These procedures not only restore physical appearance but also improve their overall quality of life.

Building Confidence

Dr. Quatela with a microtia patient.
Dr. Quatela with a microtia patient.

One of the most inspiring aspects of the HUGS Foundation is the countless stories of transformation it has facilitated. Parents and family members who were concerned about their children, and children who felt self-conscious and isolated due to their appearance, have been given a new lease on life. With their newfound confidence, they can pursue their dreams, build meaningful relationships, and contribute to society in ways they may never have been able to before in their home countries.

The impact of the organization extends beyond the individuals it directly serves. It serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the power of kindness, empathy, and the positive changes that can occur when people come together to make a difference.

Read real stories of lives changed here.

The HUGS Foundation is a testament to the power of one individual’s vision to create lasting change in the lives of others. Through the organization’s commitment to providing life-changing surgery, Dr. Quatela and the team are truly making the world a better place, one smile at a time.

To learn more about the HUGS Foundation, Inc., visit their website.

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