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.
Nebraska LEND offers a variety of clinical and community-based training opportunities to approximately 35-40 trainees and fellows each year. 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.
The Nebraska LEND is a member of national network of 52 LEND interdisciplinary leadership training programs across the country 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.