1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Interdisciplinary Leadership Education - Indiana LEND

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Angela Tomlin, PhD
Riley Child Development Center
School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
Indiana University
1002 Wishard Blvd, Suite 3120
Indianapolis, IN  46202
Phone: 317-944-4846


Achieving improved health and well-being of individuals with ASD/DD and their families requires a well-trained workforce trained with expertise and leadership skills needed to meet the complex needs of this population.

Goals and Objectives:

The primary purpose of the RCDC LEND is to improve the health and wellness of individuals with or at risk for developing autism spectrum disorder and neurodevelopmental and related disabilities (ASD/DD) by providing interdisciplinary, graduate training opportunities that increases the capacity of the workforce to partner with individuals with ASD/DD to meet their complex needs.


The RCDC LEND training program blends academic, clinical and community learning experiences across a wide range of topics and perspectives responsive to diversity, equity and inclusion that can be organized into three large areas: 1) Public health perspectives and systems of care for individuals with ASD/DD and their families, 2) interdisciplinary clinical practice and research, with a focus on ASD/DD and their families, and 3) Neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, with a focus on ASD/DD and their families. The content is designed to provide learners with a thorough grounding in these areas (knowledge) with opportunities for practice that will lead to advanced competencies and the ability to perform in leadership roles in the future (skill building). An annual cohort of 18 trainees from up to 14 different disciplines achieve core competencies for multiple levels of administrative and clinical responsibilities. Continuing education opportunities are offered statewide, regionally and nationally via a range of in-person and virtual methods. Results of research projects are disseminated through publications, posters and presentations.


The RCDC partners with IN Title V and other agencies and programs via faculty, staff and trainee participation on committees and MCH/Title V projects. The RCDC LEND partners with the Great Lakes LEND Collaborative including IN, IL, MI, MN, OH, and WI. A cultural exchange program is coordinated with the LEND programs in PR, IA and NY.


Attainment of measurable goals and objectives are monitored and reported annually to NIRS. Trainee completion of required assignments is monitored and reported annually. MCH Leadership competence is assessed through the LPQI measure and in 1, 5 and 10 years post completion surveys. Patient services are evaluated through program metrics related to access and quality. Faculty complete annual clinical, teaching and scholarship productivity reviews. ANNOTATION: The Riley Child Development Center (RCDC LEND) is an interdisciplinary leadership training program in autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions that prepares family members, self-advocates and advanced learners from 14 disciplines to work in maternal and child health and human service settings from the clinic to the community. These learners, professionals, community, local, state, regional and national programs benefit from continuing education, virtual learning, consultation and technical assistance, clinical services, advocacy, and research activities to improve lives of children with autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. Generated knowledge and innovations are disseminated widely through publications, social media, conferences, and other avenues.