Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders (LEND) at Munroe-Meyer Institute
For more than 30 years, the Nebraska Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disorders (LEND) program has provided interdisciplinary leadership training for preservice graduate students, postdoctoral interns, practicing professionals and disability and family advocates, as well as undergraduate students in pipeline programs. At the foundation of this training program are 12 leadership competency areas developed by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. These competencies guide LEND training by emphasizing evidence-based practice and family-centered interdisciplinary care while increasing cultural competence to reduce health care disparities.
The mission of the Nebraska LEND is to develop a qualified, family-centered and culturally competent workforce for individuals with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities by providing a comprehensive training program, including leadership training, clinical services, technical assistance, continuing education and resource development.
The purpose of the LEND training program is to improve the health of infants, children and adolescents with disabilities. While each LEND program is unique, with its own focus and expertise, they all provide interdisciplinary training, have faculty and trainees in a wide range of disciplines and include parents or family members as paid program participants.
Nebraska LEND offers a variety of training to approximately 35-40 trainees and fellows each year, and provides both both clinical and community-based opportunities. Interdisciplinary cohorts are recruited from pediatric medicine, psychology, nursing, occupational and physical therapy, public health, nutrition, social work, speech-language pathology, law, health administration, people with disabilities, family, and general and special education. Undergraduates and trainees from other disciplines also are considered based on their areas of interest and career paths.
MMI's LEND is one of 60 national programs across the United States and its territories uniquely affiliated with universities or medical centers, allowing them to serve as a bridge between academia and the community. Each LEND is a member of the Association of University Centers on Disability (learn more about LEND | learn more about AUCD), the organization that supports and promotes the national network of UCEDDs.
Nebraska's LEND is supported by the Maternal Child Health Bureau and networks with those regional and national partners to develop training for future and current leaders in the area of neurodevelopmental disabilities and complex health care needs.