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Funded Projects

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Paula Rabidoux, PhD
Ohio State University
McCampbell Hall, 1581 Dodd Dr.
Columbus, OH  43210
Phone: (614) 688-8472


Disparities persist in the availability and quality of health services for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities (NDD). These disparities can be addressed through innovative approaches to health care systems, leadership training, scholarship and community partnerships.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Provide leadership training to health professionals with emphasis on improving health systems and access to quality care for individuals with NDD. Objective 1: Each year 20 long term trainees will participate in the LEND training program preparing them for professional practice and leadership positions in the care of individuals with NDD Objective 2: Each year trainees will participate in core courses: Developmental Disabilities: An Interdisciplinary Perspective; Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Interdisciplinary Perspective; and the interdisciplinary leadership seminar. Objective 3: Each year all trainees will complete a practicum assignment incorporating MCH public health issues within a life course perspective. Projects will be guided by the LEND Training Advisory Committee (TAC) and incorporate new and emerging practices from the literature. Goal 2: To develop health professionals with advanced clinical skills including knowledge of transition issues for individuals with NDD Objective 1: Annually all trainees will participate in family-centered, culturally and linguistically competent, interdisciplinary clinical service programs provided in diverse settings including: university programs, hospital programs, and community programs including inner-city and rural outreach programs Objective 2: Annually at least 15 trainees will demonstrate the skills necessary to screen, diagnose, and treat individuals with ASD based on evidence based research findings. Objective 3: Annually at least 10 trainees will participate in the development of educational and/or health transition plans for individuals with NDD in coordination with families, educators, and self advocates Goal 3: Participate in applied research, continuing education, consultation, and technical assistance activities which promote systems of care that improve the health and well being of individuals with NDD. Objective 1: Annually faculty and trainees will produce and disseminate 10 educational products and 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, or book chapters on current research findings related to NDD and health care systems Objective 2: Annually faculty and trainees will complete 10 community training activities promoting systems of care that improve the health and well-being of individuals with NDD and/or provide needed services and supports for their families Objective 3: Annually faculty and trainees will complete 10 Technical Assistance & Consultation activities for family members of individuals with NDD or health-care professionals on MCH related topics Goal 4: Teach health related professionals to provide culturally and linguistically competent health care services to underserved MCH populations. Objective 1: All trainees will annually participate in dedicated LEND seminars and clinics which address issues, knowledge, and skills related to building and sustaining cultural and linguistic competence and the implications of social determinants on personal health and the provision of health care Objective 2: Annually all trainees will complete a portfolio of activities documenting the trainee's skills and knowledge including a self assessment on cultural competence. Objective 3: All trainees will annually participate in didactic courses to learn how to integrate families from diverse cultural groups into systems of care Goal 5: Prepare health related professionals to address health promotion and health equity including the creation of social and physical environments that promote health, among individuals with NDD Objective 1: Annually 10 trainees will participate in activities to improve the health and healthcare of individuals with NDD through training of healthcare providers regarding their attitudes toward people with disabilities. Objective 2: Annually 15 trainees will participate in health and wellness projects evaluating the social and environmental barriers for inclusion of individuals with NDD. Projects will also include recommendations for improved access and participation by individuals with NDD and dissemination of findings Objective 3: Each year all trainees will learn to use health literacy strategies and health information technology (IT) to improve population health outcomes, health care quality, and to achieve health equity for individuals with NDD and their families.


The Nisonger LEND program will include an integrated curriculum of course work, interdisciplinary clinical training, leadership projects, and applied research projects addressing health promotion and systems of care. Trainees will develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) to guide their learning activities. Nisonger LEND faculty will teach two core courses and a Leadership/Research Seminar which will address key MCH topics. Trainees will develop advanced clinical skills through participation in a variety of interdisciplinary clinical activities at varied locations. Leadership projects will be developed to address health promotion, systems of care, and care coordination. Research projects will be completed based on ongoing faculty projects and trainees' interests.


The program's activities are coordinated with the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, the Ohio DD Council, and other state, national and local agencies. LEND faculty work with the Athens County Health Department to provide developmental clinics in the Appalachian region of the state. The state's MCH training programs collaborate on an annual state wide poster session featuring MCH trainee accomplishments.


The evaluation plan translates the goals, objectives, and activities of the program into operational competencies and performance outcome measures. Ten core competency domains are monitored by faculty and trainees. Program assessment is conducted using formative and summative evaluation procedures. The program will use the National Information Reporting System (NIRS).