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Funded Projects

Colorado LEND (CO LEND) Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Sandra Friedman, MD, MPH
Professor of Pediatrics
Pediatrics / JFK Partners
University of Colorado Denver
13121 E. 17th Ave., C234
Aurora, CO  80045-0508
Phone: 720-777-6636


Children with neurodevelopmental disabilities such as Autism (ND/ASD) & their families need culturally and linguistically competent MCH leaders to address health disparities and to design & deliver effective, family-centered interventions in coordinated systems of care.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Prepare long-term trainees and fellows (LT/Fs) for MCH leadership & increase knowledge & skills of medium (MTs)- & short-term trainees (STs) Objective 1: Train 15 LTs/yr., reflecting Colorado diversity, as leaders in neurdevelopmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders (ND/ASD) Objective 2: Strengthen MCH knowledge & skills of 65 MTs & 200 STs per year Objective 3: Update faculty in Life Course Theory (LCT) and infuse LCT into core courses. Goal 2: Increase capacity of practicing MCH professionals to strengthen ND/ASD services. Objective 1: Offer 12 ND/ASD continuing education (CE) programs for 500 participants per year. Objective 2: Provide 400 hours of technical assistance (TA) to at least 15 entities/systems per year. Goal 3: Advance the ND-ASD evidence base of knowledge & best practice interventions. Objective 1: Conduct 10 ongoing/new research projects, including treatment model design and/or validation, per year. Objective 2: Disseminate results of studies and investigations in 50 publications & other products per year.


At JFK Partners, Colorado's LEND and UCEDD program, long-term trainees and fellows are predominantly doctoral students and post doctoral, multi-discipline trainees and fellows who are recruited within Colorado and nationally. Long-term trainees and fellows spend sunstantially more than 300 contact hours in the LEND program in didactic courses and practicum experiences. Trainees and fellows take core didactic courses in: MCH Leadership, Teamwork, and Consultation; Key Concepts in Developmental Disabilities, including core concepts, family content, and Developmental Disabilities Research Group presentations; and, two courses in a)assessment of, and b) intervention in, neurodevelopmental disorders including autism spectrum disorders (ND/ASD), according to their individual program plans. Over the training year, they have substantial clinical experience in ND/ASD and in other practica. Most fellows also have assignments to research projects. Medium- and short-term term trainees have selected ND/ASD didactic and/or practicum exposure to meet or enrich their graduate degree program needs. Continuing Education, Community Education, and Technical Assistance needs are identified and addressed by faculty and trainees/fellows with state, regional and national partners, & focus on ND-ASD, as does the extensive JFK Partners research program.


Colorado's LEND at JFK Partners coordinates: a) Instate, with Colorado Title V, Medical Home, Part C, and Department of Education, Salud Health Centers, and Colorado chapters of Arc, Autism Society, El Grupo VIDA, Family Voices, Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, and Mile High Down Syndrome; b) Regionally and nationally, with: PacWest LEND programs & the Rocky Mountain Public Health Consortia, the Autism Treatment Network, and CADDRE, ADDM, SEED, & Smart Start.


The Colorado LEND Evaluation Protocol supports program delivery and modification, reporting, and outcome documentation via administrative data collection, assessments of trainees' competencies, trainee & advisory input to planning, graduate surveys of MCH service & leadership, and CE & TA feedback, and advisors' assessments and input to programming. It also is responsive to emergent needs and evolving HRSA/MCHB reporting requirements.