Georgia LEND Program Application Supplement
What is a LEND Program?
The Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) Interdisciplinary training program is a one-year training program that incorporates both didactic and experiential learning in clinical and community-based settings. This program prepares future leaders to enhance the lives of children and families through culturally competent and family-centered services, coordinated systems of care, and responsive social policies.
The GaLEND Program is funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). GaLEND operates as part of the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at Georgia State University (GSU), in collaboration with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). GaLEND collaborates with a number of community partners, including the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These partners offer expert faculty and experiences that distinguish the GaLEND Program.
Collectively, the 43 LEND programs across the United States form a network that addresses regional and national issues of importance to children with special health care needs with a focus on children with autism and related disorders. LEND programs grew from the 1950s efforts of the Children's Bureau (now MCHB) to identify children with disabilities as a priority of Title V of the Social Security Act. LENDs are currently funded under the Autism CARES Act.
While each LEND program is unique, with its own focus and expertise, they all provide interdisciplinary training, have faculty and trainees from a wide range of disciplines, and include parents or family members as faculty and paid program participants. They also share the following objectives:
To advance the knowledge and skills of all child health professionals to improve health care delivery systems for children with autism and related developmental disabilities;
To provide high-quality interdisciplinary education that emphasizes the integration of services from state and local agencies, private providers, and communities;
To provide health professionals with skills that foster community-based partnerships;
To promote innovative and effective practices that enhance cultural competency, family-centered care, and interdisciplinary partnerships; and
To prepare future leaders from diverse backgrounds to improve health care access, quality of care, and outcomes for children, especially those from historically underserved racial and ethnic groups.
Who is a LEND Trainee?
A GaLEND trainee is someone who wants to make the world a better place – and understands the importance of gaining the leadership skills and perspectives to make that happen. GaLEND trainees must have already demonstrated an interest in improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families and a commitment to pursuing leadership roles in policy, direct supports, education, and advocacy. Most GaLEND trainees will be advanced master’s, doctoral, or post-doctoral students from GSU and MSM. Trainees will also include individuals with developmental disabilities and family members as advocacy trainees. The GaLEND Program will be open to a very limited number of early career professionals from CDC and community practitioners with a vested interest in learning to work more effectively with children with autism and related disabilities and their families. In addition, the GaLEND Program is open to enrolling trainees from Applied Behavior Analysis, Audiology, Pediatric Dentistry, and Law. The Combined Health Policy/GaLEND Fellow must meet all the requirements of the SHLI Health Policy Leadership Fellowship and the Georgia LEND Programs.