1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (URLEND)

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Sarah Winter, MD
Principal Investigator
University of Utah
University of Utah
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT  84108-1287
Phone: (801) 585-1017


Frontier challenges in UT, ID, MT, ND, and WY affect provisions of high quality, evidence-based, integrated health care to children/youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. Development of leaders in health care and administration is critical to meet needs of this population.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Enhance institutional and organizational infrastructure of URLEND with its partners to prepare trainees as leaders in broad health care fields for children and youth with ND/ASD and their families. Objective 1: Organize and manage all functions of URLEND through ongoing direction and guidance from the Directors, Core Faculty, State Liaisons, Advisory Committee, Interdisciplinary Training Committee, Management Team, and standing subcommittees (Curriculum, Clinical Services, Evaluation, ASD, and IPA). Objective 2: Maintain 22 faculty (CF and Specialists) from 15 disciplines including 1 Family Faculty. Additionally 4 State Liaisons coordinate ULREND activities in ID, MT, ND, WY. 14 of the faculty and State Liaisons have expertise in ASD. Objective 3: Review content and approach of URLEND components to ensure leadership expectations and activities are integrated among components; provide trainees with didactic, clinical, and research experiences related to children/youth with ND/ASD, their families, and local, state, and national care systems. Goal 2: Provide interdisciplinary leadership experiences to URLEND trainees within the context of integrated didactic, clinical, and leadership/research activities. Objective 1: Based on URLEND recruitment and diversity plan, recruit and select leadership trainees, including those from under-represented racial and cultural groups, graduate schools, medical and dental pediatric residencies, and post-masters and post-doctoral fellows. Objective 2: Develop, implement, and evaluate a series of articulated didactic and experiential activities targeted to racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse high school and undergraduate students to enhance their awareness of health care professions. Objective 3: Annually, select and support 32 long-term trainees (12 master and 20 doctoral) and 2 family and young adult trainees with LEND funds. At least 10 of these trainees will receive additional intensive training in the URLEND-AE track. 15% of the trainees will be racially or ethnically diverse. Goal 3: Provide evidenced-based CE/training to health care professionals in UT/ID/MT/ND/WY addressing concerns in provision of family-centered, culturally competent, community-based integrated care systems. Objective 1: Provide at least 300 hours of continuing education and over 500 hours of additional training to maternal and child health care professionals and families, with an emphasis on family-centered services and cultural competence, and present research findings at 15 national conferences annually. Objective 2: Provide annually 50 consultation and technical assistance activities conducted by URLEND faculty and trainees to staff from Title V and CSHCN programs, Family Voices, UCEDDs, and other professionals to develop/improve integrated care systems including family-centered svcs and cultural competency. Objective 3: Develop and disseminate at the state, regional, and national level at least 50 educational resources/year designed to strengthen family-centered, culturally responsive, community-based integrated services.


A competency-based curriculum addresses trainees' individualized learning needs. Videoconferencing is used for didactic training, containing costs, expanding faculty, and extending leadership preparation to participants in five rural states. Competencies are mastered through clinical, research, and leadership development experiences mentored by highly qualified, cross disciplinary faculty and agency partners.


URLEND partners with the University of Utah, Department of Pediatrics; Utah State University, Center for Persons with Disabilities; as well as the Department of Health-Bureau of CSHCN, Family Voices, and UCEDDs.


The Participatory Evaluation Process (PEP) involving families, faculty, and trainees, is used to collect qualitative/quantitative data through program record audits, focus groups, surveys, structured interviews, and competency/performance measures.