1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Developing a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program for Georgia (GA-LEND)

Project Website

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Daniel Crimmins, PhD
Director, Center for Leadership in Disability
Institute of Public Health/Health and Human Sciences
Georgia State University
Post Office Box 3995
Atlanta, GA  30302-3995
Phone: (404) 413-1286


The number of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in Georgia is large and growing. All need access to screening, diagnosis, and interventions, provided by leaders with the interdisciplinary skills and perspectives critical to culturally-competent and family-centered services and supports.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Recruit a diverse group of trainees from GSU, Morehouse School of Medicine, other universities and training programs, and the community to participate in the GaLEND Program. Objective 1: Recruit and retain 15-20 long-term trainees, 25-50 medium-term trainees, and 50-100 trainees. Objective 2: Increase the proportion of GA-LEND Program trainees from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds from 20% in Year 1 to 33% in Year 5. Objective 3: Recruit GA-LEND trainees that represent 10 to 14 different LEND disciplines. Goal 2: Ensure that GaLEND trainees have the leadership competencies to ensure access to interdisciplinary supports and services to children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. Objective 1: Trainees will demonstrate mastery of academic, experiential, and values content that reflects current best practices and research in neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, as outlined in the MCH Leadership Competencies. Objective 2: Trainees will demonstrate clinical competencies in delivering interdisciplinary, culturally competent, evidence-based, family-centered, and community-based supports and services and collaborating with families in advocacy. Objective 3: Trainees will receive support in identifying, applying, and obtaining post-graduate employment leadership positions addressing the needs of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families and other MCH populations. Goal 3: Provide continuing education, consultation and technical assistance in collaboration with State Title V to improve the health and well being of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Objective 1: GA-LEND faculty and trainees will provide continuing education, technical assistance, and consultation to an increasing number of participants, programs, schools and agencies. Objective 2: The GA-LEND will collaborate with other LENDs to provide at least one regional continuing education activity each year on improving services to children with autism spectrum disorders. Objective 3: Provide a 50-hour autism intensive training experience for at least 10 graduates of the LEND Program and other community professionals. Goal 4: Contribute to the elimination of health disparities and improvement in systems of care for MCH populations by conducting research and disseminating results. Objective 1: Trainees will demonstrate competencies in research with the goal of improving services and supports and reducing health disparities for children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities and their families. Objective 2: GaLEND faculty and trainees will collaborate on an increasing number of peer-reviewed publications and presentations at national conferences. Goal 5: Use an ongoing process of qualitative and quantitative evaluation to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and reach of the GaLEND Program. Objective 1: Conduct one focused evaluation each year on GaLEND Program effectiveness. Objective 2: Conduct one focused evaluation each year on the impact of the GaLEND Program on the state and the region.


All trainees participate in (1) leadership seminar and directed experiences, (2) courses on ND and systems of care, (3) research teams, and (4) clinical practica. An autism intensive experience is provided to LEND graduate and qualified community professionals.


GaLEND Program staff meet regularly with Georgia Title V, and other state and community agencies, to review needs and plan continuing education and technical assistance to address the needs. Project staff also collaborate regionally and nationally with the network of LEND Programs through AUCD and AMCHP, minority-serving institutions, and other MCHB-funded training programs in the Southeast.


Qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods are used to document processes and outcomes for all goals and objectives, emphasizing satisfaction data on program elements, mastery of the leadership competencies, and long-term outcomes. Data are reported through the National Information Reporting System and the MCHB Electronic Handbook and are reviewed regularly for program improvement.