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Funded Projects

NvLEND Planning Project

Grant Status: Completed

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

Project Director(s):

Erika Ryst, MD
Director, NCED
Board of Regents, Nevada System of Higher Education, on behalf of the University of Nevada, Reno
Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED)
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV  89557-0240
Phone: (775) 682-8446


Nevada is in need of MCH professionals and leaders to provide high quality interdisciplinary family-centered services to children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. Currently, there are no LEND programs in Nevada.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Develop a community of interdisciplinary leaders who will serve and improve the system of services for infants, children, and adolescents with neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities. Objective 1: Each year, recruit 12 qualified long term trainees (both graduate students, community professionals, family members, and consumers) to complete a minimum of 300 hours of innovative training through the NvLEND that includes didactic, clinical, and leadership activities. Objective 2: With input from the interdisciplinary faculty, pilot trainees, family members, consumers, and community partners and an annual review of evaluation data, continue to refine the curriculum and activities of the NvLEND. Objective 3: On an ongoing basis, incorporate new webinars, materials, and training opportunities from MCHB, HRSA, CDC, CAAI projects, and other LENDs including the PacWest LEND Consortium into the NvLEND. Goal 2: Implement and maintain the overall administrative structure including evaluation of the NvLEND. Objective 1: Building on activities of the planning grant, implement the administrative and organizational structure including cooperative agreements and memorandums of understanding with clinical sites and programs with an emphasis on underserved populations in the frontier and rural regions. Objective 2: Annually, support faculty, trainees, and partners to participate in national and regional collaborative efforts including AUCD, CAAI, PacWest LEND Consortium, and LEND conference calls, webinars, committees, and meetings. Objective 3: Annually, conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the programmatic and administrative activities for the NvLEND. Goal 3: Disseminate information on evidence-based practice and participate in efforts to improve screening, diagnosis and intervention for ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Objective 1: In cooperation with other state agencies and university programs, every two years (years 2 and 4) conduct a statewide needs assessment of barriers to services and professional knowledge and skills in serving individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities. Objective 2: Annually, conduct 36 interdisciplinary Autism assessments that will include 8 telehealth assessments, which will extend service and training to health care providers in underserved rural and frontier communities while meeting training needs of NvLEND trainees. Objective 3: Disseminate information on new grant projects, evidence-based practices, NvLEND activities, PacWest Consortium and trainee activities to faculty, trainees, federal and state agencies, community partners, and family members to explore new projects and to improve the system of services.


Each year, 12 qualified trainees will complete a minimum of 300 hours of innovative training through the NvLEND Interdisciplinary Leadership Program that includes didactic, clinical, and research activities. NvLEND will incorporate new webinars, materials, and other training activities from other MCHB and HRSA projects to continuously improve the program. Interdisciplinary assessments will be provided to underserved rural and frontier communities while meeting the need for trainees to have experience with remote and diverse populations.


Nevada MCH, Nevada Early Intervention Services, Washoe County School District, Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center, Nevada Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, Nevada Indian Health Board, and Nevada Department of Education.


Both a formative and summative evaluation process will be followed using quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate the implementation of the goals and objectives of the NvLEND. Regular review of the evaluation data will be used to improve the project.