1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Excellence in Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Leadership Education: Preparing Future Leaders in Maternal Child Health.

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Jennifer Gerdts, PhD
Clinical Training Unit
University of Washington
1959 NE Pacific St
CHDD Building, Room CD417
PO Box 357920
Seattle, WA  98195-7920
Phone: (206) 744-9114


Access to evidence-based systems for screening, diagnosis and intervention for children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities including autism spectrum disorders is needed in rural and underserved regions in the Pacific NW. An increase in the diversity of health care workforce is needed.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Advance the knowledge and skills of child health professionals to improve health care delivery systems for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism spectrum disorder. Objective 1: Recruit, train, and increase long-term trainees (LTTs) from = 30 to = 45 annually. Objective 2: Increase LTT recruitment in rural and underserved locations, year 1-5. Objective 3: Maintain high quality faculty in 14 core disciplines located on site and 9 affiliate disciplines, year 1-5. Goal 2: Provide high-quality interdisciplinary education to health professionals emphasizing the integration of services supported by state, local agencies, organizations, private providers and communities. Objective 1: 100% LTTs participate in > 2 interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally diverse programs in urban/rural underserved communities in WA, year 1-5. Objective 2: 100% LTTs participate in > 4 maternal child health leadership experiences, year 1-5. Objective 3: Provide didactic/leadership LTT activities with UW MCH and PacWest LEND Consortiums, year 1-5. Goal 3: Provide a wide range of community health professionals with the skills needed to foster a community-based partnership of health resources and community leadership. Objective 1: Continue to provide TA to Title V agencies and other maternal child health programs locally, regionally, and nationally, year 1-5. Objective 2: Continue to provide CE/TA to community health professionals, locally, regionally, and nationally, year 1-5. Goal 4: Promote innovative practice models that enhance cultural competency, partnerships between disciplines, and family-centered approaches to care. Objective 1: Provide LTTs didactic and experiential curricula in family-centered and culturally-competent practice, year 1-5. Objective 2: Expand youth and family participation in UW LEND activities, year 1-5. Goal 5: Promote relevant clinical, basic, and translational evidence-based research to effectively enhance the lives of children with NDRDs/ASDs. Objective 1: Provide research training and mentoring to LTTs, year 1-5. Objective 2: Provide LTTs training in evidence-based practices for NDDs/ASDs. Objective 3: Collaborate with local, state and national agencies to share and disseminate scientific knowledge of NDRDs/ASDs.


Recruit and train a racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse cohort of long-term trainees from each of the core disciplines from academic, community-based health settings, and underserved areas. *Formalize a Distance Learning Track and increase enrollment of LTTs from areas throughout WA and regionally. *Assure Faculty and LTTs participate in Autism CARES Act Initiative activities (e.g. Community Asset Mapping, Learn the Signs, Act Early, STAT). *Partner with Title V agencies, families UW MCH Leadership Consortium, Pacific West LEND Consortium to achieve performance measures and Health People 2020 goals. *Expand family faculty and youth consumer participation in UW LEND activities. * Utilize the UW LEND Child Development Clinic to model emerging and innovative, evidence-based interdisciplinary practice. *Maintain relationships with > 8 family-centered, culturally divers community-based practice sites for NDRDs/ASDs diagnostic or intervention activities. *Expand training curriculum, continuing education, and mentoring on medical home, adolescent transition to adulthood, and life course theory. * Incorporate a life-course perspective as a tool for understanding and addressing health disparities across socioeconomic and racial or ethnic groups, particularly disparities that originate in childhood. *Offer UW Seminar on accessing and utilizing national and regional data bases for needs assessment, program and policy concerns (NSCH, NS-CSHCN, NEILS, State data, etc.).


UW LEND has long-standing collaborative relationships with: (1) Title V CSHCN and WA State Autism CARES Advisory Council: contracts, technical assistance and dissemination. (2) UW MCH training programs: curriculum, continuing education, technical assistance, leadership. (3) Pacific West LEND consortium: curriculum, faculty/trainee exchanges. (4) UW Autism Center, Seattle Children's Hospital, Autism Speaks, NW Autism Center: curricula, practica, technical assistance, dissemination.


Objective formative and summative process, including outcomes assures program accountability. Alumni MCH leadership is accessed at 1, 5, 10 year. Anonymous program evaluations are reviewed annually to improve curriculum.