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Funded Projects

Nebraska LEND Program

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Cynthia Ellis, MD
Munroe-Meyer Institute
Developmental Medicine
University of Nebraska
985380 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE  68198
Phone: (402) 559-4985


The number of Nebraska children with a neurodevelopmental (NDD) or other SHCN is higher than the national average. Nebraska's large size, low population, and scarcity of professionals trained in NDD or ASD create significant gaps in the state's service infrastructure for diagnostics/interventions.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Provide Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for 102 long and advanced medium trainees per year. Objective 1.1 All Long-term LEND Trainees will successfully complete the Advanced or Intensive Interdisciplinary Leadership Curricula or one of the Autism Leadership Academy (ALA) Advanced Practitioner Training Curricula. Objective 1.2 ASD-specific components will be incorporated into all LT and AMT curricula. Objective 1.3 Advanced Medium-term LEND trainees will successfully complete one of fve training program. Goal 2: Enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of practicing professionals. Objective 2.1 LEND faculty will identify specific needs for continuing education. Objective 2.2 LEND Faculty will participate in at least one major professional development activity each year. Objective 2.3 LEND Program will provide continuing education and professional development activities. Goal 3: Increase knowledge in the field of children with special health care needs and neurodevelopmental and related disabilities. Objective 3.1 LEND faculty and trainees will disseminate research findings, curricular materials, etc. Objective 3.2 LEND program will engage with the national LEND network and other disability groups. Objective 3.3 LEND program will collaborate to develop a Disability Studies program. Goal 4. The LEND Autism Leadership Academy will collaborate to improve system of care for children with NDD & ASD. Objective 4.1 LEND Program will collaborate with NDE and ASD Network to support two trainings each year. Objective 4.2 LEND ALA and partners will increase number of interdisciplinary ASD diagnostic evaluations. Objective 4.3 LEND program will partner with Nebraska State Autism Collaborative to improve systems of care. Objective 4.4 LEND program will collaborate with State Title V agencies. Activities Undertaken to Meet Project Goals: The LEND Program will develop and implement a multi-level, competency-based curriculum for trainees and practicing professionals, comprised of didactic, practicum, and community-based training and service learning experiences focusing on the development of leadership skills, ASD-specific competencies for evidence-based diagnostics and interventions, and research development and dissemination in the areas of NDD, ASD, CSHCN and related disabilities.


We will use a multidimensional evaluation framework, including ongoing assessment of trainees and program activities and measurement of the degree to which the program achieves the program's goals. Evaluation tools incorporate an assessment of competency-based didactic, clinical, and community-based skills curriculum; testing and observational evaluation by faculty, clinical, and research supervisors; individual data logging and self-assessment by trainees; satisfaction surveys of training participants and client families; and the collection and analysis of training, research, and service provision data.