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Funded Projects

MCH Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

Training Category: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND)

Project Director(s):

Fred J. Biasini, PhD
Project Director
Civitan International Research Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL  35294-0021
Phone: (205) 934-1093
FAX: (205) 934-2380


Alabama's children are at high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders because the limited economic, educational, and health care resources increase the risk for developmental delays. In addition, personnel shortages in areas needed to diagnosis and treat children with special health care needs.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Provide interdisciplinary leadership education/training to graduate and postgraduate health and health related professionals in a model center of excellence in training, service, and research Objective 1: Recruit and select at least 25 graduate or postgraduate level trainees for long-term training (300 hours) and at least 50 intermediate or short-term trainees (9-299 hours) each year. Objective 2: Recruit and enroll trainees from ethinic/racial minority groups that will comprise at least 20% of the trainees each year. Objective 3: Train at least 25 long-term advanced-level trainees and 50 intermediate trainees per year who at the end of their training meet the competencies outlined in the core curriculum and are able to utilize relevant elements of the leadership-training cruuiculum in their place of employment Goal 2: Utilize a leadership education curriculum, which emphasizes interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally and linguistically appropriate, comprehensive health care Objective 1: Offer a array of clinical training opportunities through Civitan/Sparks Clinics and in the broader community that will be used by LEND trainees to develop their knowledge and skills in medical, psychosocial, and other health related services. Objective 2: Train at least 50 long term and medium trainees per year including pediatric residents, medical students, and community providers who at the end of their training will be able to use appropriate screening methods to identify children suspected of having an ASD and refer them for full evaluation. Objective 3: Recruit and train at least 25 long term advanced level trainees and 50 medium trainees per year who at the end of their training will be able to evaluate the efficacy of and use evidenced based treatments with children who have an ASD Goal 3: UAB LEND will develop research awareness and skills for trainees through seminars and projects supervised by the faculty Objective 1: Each Long-term Trainee will develop an awareness of current research technologies and applications in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities. Objective 2: Each Long-term Trainee will develop and carry out a research project by reviewing research literature on a particular topic and presenting the findings at a journal club or UAB LEND core seminar, participating in an ongoing investigation, or completing an independent research project. Objective 3: Engage trainees in comparing the various ASD screening tools used in completed diagnostic evaluations. Goal 4: Provide continuing education and technical assistance to Title V, child health and child development agency professional personnel and parents in Alabama and Region IV through distance learning. Objective 1: Participate in an annual needs assessment with Title V and other agencies in Alabama and surrounding states related to training needs. Objective 2: Continue collaboration with continuing education events involving other agencies participating in at least 5 co-sponsored events annually Objective 3: Develop an annual continuing education event utilizing technology, distance learning, etc. in conjunction with the Southeast Regional Consortium of LEND and UCEDD programs and continue to provide scholarly reports and publications in appropriate disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals. Goal 5: UAB LEND faculty will work to make changes in the state and regional health care delivery system. Objective 1: Continue MCH partnerships by participating in statewide coalition of Title V agencies and parent groups that meets quarterly to discuss ongoing and emerging needs of the population and to develop strategies for prevention and coordination of efforts Objective 2: Continue to maintain a comprehensive state-wide information system in collaboration with Title V and other agencies for receiving and routing inquiries to coordinate the delivery of relevant services and technical assistance for children and families with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities Objective 3: Work towards system and policy changes by actively participating on community advisory boards, state planning committees, state and local task forces, regional planning committees, and other panels dedicated to the improvement of children's health


All trainees involved in pre-service training participate, under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor, in the core curriculum designed for didactic and experiential activities. The curriculum includes the key aspects of leadership and interdisciplinary training, including knowledge of specific disorders of the population served, legislation, policy and program development, advocacy and the importance of family, culture, and coordination. Continuing education is accomplished through Center sponsored or co-sponsored workshops, presentations, lectures, seminars, and technical assistance Faculty also provide technical assistance to other professionals, agencies, and families. These activities address national, regional, state, and local audiences.


The UAB LEND is an active in the UAB MCH Leadership Network and the Alabama MCH Title V Partners with the goal of collaboration and communication to improve and expand the services needed by children with special health care needs.


Trainees are evaluated through oral and written appraisals of their clinical work, mid-year trainee-faculty reviews, and evaluation of their case presentations and research and technical assistance products (e.g., brochures, fact sheets, papers, poster sessions). Effectiveness of outreach training/continuing education is evaluated through post-training surveys. Systems change activities are evaluated through formative and summative evaluation designs.