Jordan W. Swanson, MD, MSc


  •  Linton Whitaker Endowed Chair of Craniofacial Surgery | Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  •  Guatemala | Honduras | Indonesia | Nicaragua | Madagascar | Jordan | Paraguay | Philippines
  •   Evidence-based Practices | Global Surgery | Human-Centered Program Design

Languages: English (native), Spanish (fluent)

Bio statement

My innovation and research initiatives are focused principally on how surgical care can be better adapted to low-resource settings, through design of clinical devices and techniques, locally-driven leadership and team capability strengthening, and reorienting care pathways appropriate to local contexts and resources. I previously worked and lived in Nicaragua, collaborating with Operation Smile and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to build a joint Comprehensive Cleft and Craniofacial program, and am the primary investigator of the Cirugia Para el Pueblo (Surgery for the People) pilot program to advance the access to and impact of rural surgical care in Nicaragua.

Recent global health projects

Primary Investigator, Cirugia Para el Pueblo (Surgery for the People). $1.4M pilot project funded by UBS Optimus Foundation, implemented by Nicaraguan Ministry of Health and Operation Smile, to advance access to and impact of rural surgical care in Nicaragua. Goal is to develop and study critical operational elements (clinician training, biomedical engineer program, community health worker surgical curriculum) to establish district hospital surgical program, as well as expanded cost-effectiveness evaluation on health, social, and economic impacts of target population.

Dr. Swanson was editor of Global Cleft Care in Low-Resource Settings, recently published by Springer, and continues to partner with developing cleft teams in Morocco, Nicaragua, and the United Arab Emirates.

Selected publications

  1. Swanson JW, ed; Low, DW, illustrator. Global Cleft Care for Low-Resource Settings. London: Springer Nature, 2021.
  2. Vu GH, Warden C, Zimmerman CE, Kalmar CL, Humphries LS, McDonald-McGinn DM, Jackson OA, Low DW, Taylor JA, Swanson JW: Poverty and Risk of Cleft Lip and Palate: An Analysis of United States Birth Data. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2021.
  3. Kalmar CL, Siu A, Alvarez E, Swanson JW: Modified Buccal Myomucosal Flap Closure of Large Anterior Palatal Oronasal Fistulas. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2021.
  4. Gualy S, Herrera C, Warden C, Valle T, Barnum J, Colman B, Siu A, Swanson JW: Enabling community health worker recognition and referral of surgical diseases: Pilot study results of a pictorial guide. World Journal of Surgery 43(12): 2949-2958, Dec. 2019.
  5. Yao CA, Imahiyerobo T, Swanson J, Auslander A, De Cardenas D, Figueiredo JC, Mccullough M, Costa M, Vanderburg R, Magee WP 3rd (2017). The Smile Index Part 1: A Large-Scale Study Of Phenotypic Norms For Pre- And Post-Operative Unilateral Cleft Lip. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Sep 14. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003931 
  6. Mccullough M, Campbell A, Siu A, Durnwald L, Kumar S, Magee WP 3rd, Swanson J (2017). Competency-Based Education In Low Resource Settings: Development Of A Novel Surgical Training Program. World J Surg. 2017 Sep 6. doi: 10.1007/S00268-017-4205-2.
  7. Swanson JW, Yao CA, Auslander A, et al (2017). Patient barriers to accessing surgical cleft care in Vietnam: A multi-site, cross-sectional outcomes study. World Journal of Surgery. 2017. 41(6): 1435-46. doi: 10.1007/s00268-017-3896-8.
  8. Wes AM, Paul N, Gerety PA, Folsom N, Swanson J, Taylor JA, Weinstein MH (2017). A Sustainable Model for Patient Follow-Up Following an International Cleft Mission: A Proof of Concept. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2017 Jan 13. doi: 10.1597/16-159.
  9. Yao CA, Swanson JW, Magee WP3, et al (2016). Barriers to Reconstructive Surgery in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Cross-sectional Study of 453 Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate Patients in Vietnam. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016. 138(5):887e-895e.
  10. Chong DA, Swanson JW (2016). The essential anatomic subunit approximation unilateral cleft lip repair. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016. 138 (1): 91e-94e.
  11. Yao CA, Swanson JW, McCullough M, Taro T, Guitierrez R, Bradshaw A, Campbell A, Magee WM Jr, Magee WP3 (2016). The Medical Mission and Modern Core Competency Training: A 10-year Followup of Resident Experiences in Global Plastic Surgery. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2016. 138(3):531e-538e.
  12. Swanson JW, Skirpan J, Stanek B, Kowalczyk M, Bartlett SP (2016). A 30-year international pediatric craniofacial surgery partnership: Evolution from the “Third World” forward. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Global Open. 2016. 4(4): e671.
  13. Morrison SD, Swanson JW (2015). Surgical justice. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2015; 136: 291e-292e.
  14. Swanson JW, Smartt JM, Saltzman BS, Birgfeld CB, Hopper RA, Gruss JS, Tse R. Adopted children with cleft lip and/or palate: a unique and growing population. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2014; 134: 283e-293e.

Last Updated: 27 January 2022