Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND)

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND), at Children's Seashore House of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, is a national training initiative funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The LEND program at Children's Hospital has been in operation since 1992, and is one of 43 LEND programs in 37 states. The mandate of MCHB is "to improve the health of mothers, infants, children and adolescents, including those with disabilities and chronic illnesses, with special attention to those of low income or with limited availability of health services." Within this broader context of the MCHB mandate, LEND has a threefold mission: leadership, scholarship and partnership.

Leadership: The key mission of LEND is to train future leaders in the field of developmental disabilities. We enroll approximately 14 to 18 LEND fellows annually, drawing applicants from a national pool. LEND fellows have completed the necessary pre-professional training required to achieve certification or licensure in their respective professions. They come to the LEND program to receive one year of post-professional, interdisciplinary training centered around the needs of children with developmental disabilities (three years, in the case of physicians). LEND faculty and fellows at Children's Hospital represent the following disciplines: audiology, dentistry, healthcare administration, nursing, nutrition, occupational therapy, pediatrics, physical therapy, psychology, public health social work and speech pathology.

Scholarship: LEND faculty and fellows contribute to the knowledge base and best practices in the field of developmental disabilities through basic or applied research, development of fact-based practice guidelines or creation of novel instructional curricula or formats that enhance awareness of neurodevelopmental issues at all levels of medical education.

Partnership: LEND faculty work in a collaborative fashion with community-based clinicians, agencies, schools and governmental units to identify and articulate the developmental needs of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities or special healthcare needs. Issues currently being studied by LEND at Children's Hospital include the developmental needs of children in foster care, medical home requirements for children with developmental disabilities and transition to adulthood for adolescents with special healthcare needs.

For more information about the LEND program, please contact the LEND Program Manager at 215-590-7466, lendinfo@email.chop.edu.