Community Learning & Leadership
The goal of the Community Learning and Leadership activity is for trainees to learn about and collaborate with community-based systems of care for families experiencing a disability or complex health need, to develop Maternal and Child Health leadership competencies while participating in and then leading specific community-based activities and to provide a service or product of value to the community organization or agency to which the trainee is assigned. Trainee teams are assigned to sites that best meet their interests, their LEND leadership development goals and where their skills are a good match to the mission and needs of the organization or agency. Current community partner sites include the Autism Center of Nebraska, Building Healthy Futures, Gotta Be Me, Inc., Legal Aid of Nebraska, Parent Training and Information Center and the Yates Community Center.
Autism Care for Toddlers (ACT) Clinic
The ACT Clinic not only provides a clinical training opportunity for LEND trainees, it also provides early, evidence-based, behavioral interventions to improve the lives of toddlers with autism and their families. Many ACT families do not have insurance and would not be able to afford these services themselves. LEND faculty and trainees provide assessments, treatment, education and parent training. The ACT clinic is housed within the Autism Center of Nebraska in Omaha and supported through funding from numerous sources, including the Nebraska LEND Program, the MMI Departments of Behavioral Psychology and Pediatric Clinical Psychology, the MMI AmeriCorps Program, the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska, the United Way and through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Midwest LEND Consortium, comprised of the LEND programs in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota, provides a forum for collaboration around issues such as recruitment, course development, evaluation, follow up of trainees, joint areas of research development and the unique clinical service and educational activities in rural/frontier states.
Nebraska State Autism Collaborative
The Nebraska State Autism Collaborative brings together key stakeholders from various agencies and groups within the autism community in Nebraska and serves as the advisory board to the LEND Autism Leadership Academy. The mission of the Nebraska State Autism Collaborative is to move Nebraska towards a more effective statewide, comprehensive, family-friendly service system for all individuals with autism and their families.
The LEND program offers an annual training on the theory and application of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd edition. The ADOS-2 is the gold standard for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders in infants from 18 months through adulthood. An average of 50 students, interns, postdocs, residents and practicing professionals participate in a 24-hour training workshop. LEND faculty and professional partners in the community then provide experienced supervision in the application of this diagnostic tool.
LEND trainees and faculty collaborate to conduct research throughout the training year. Trainees from different disciplines frequently team to answer research questions from an interdisciplinary perspective. LEND research projects culminate in an oral presentation scored by peers and faculty and the annual MMI Faculty and Student Poster Session, where each LEND poster is critiqued by three faculty judges.
The LEND program provides support to the Frontier Area Mental-Health Camp And Mentorship Program (F.A.R.M. C.A.M.P.), a one-week retreat program in the frontier counties around Rushville, Neb. This program is sponsored by Western Nebraska Behavioral Health and the Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska. The program identifies and mentors rural high school and undergraduate students who are interested in careers in behavioral health. Students meet professionals from a variety of rural behavioral health careers and take a class introducing them to aspects of psychology, mental health treatment and ethics, for which they receive college credit. Trainees are assigned a mentor who advises and helps to connect students to educational and career opportunities.
Expanded Training Opportunities
LEND trainees have the opportunity to expand their training experiences by attending conferences, symposia, grand rounds and other events locally and nationally to become effective leaders in the provision of clinical services, policy advocacy and improving systems of care.