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Funded Projects

CHOP Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND)

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Nathan Blum, MD
Principal Investigator
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
3516 Civic Center Boulevard, Rm 210A
Philadelphia, PA  19104-4318
Phone: (215) 590-7466


Children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) have difficulty accessing high quality, interdisciplinary, family-centered and culturally responsive care. These problems are exacerbated for families living in poverty and minorities.

Goals and Objectives:

(abbreviated due to space limitations) Goal 1: Attract and maintain a talented group of diverse fellows. Obj.1 Recruit fellows in at least 14 disciplines. Obj.2 Increase the number of LEND fellows of minority background. Goal 2: Prepare fellows to address the complex needs of children with ASD/DD and their families. Obj.1 Participate in an interdisciplinary course series. Obj.2 Provide supervised clinical experiences related to ASD/DD diagnosis and treatment. A subset receive intensive ASD training. Goal 3: Prepare LEND fellows to have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to partner with diverse families, professionals and community providers. Obj.1 Fellows participate in multiple interdisciplinary and community-based activities and experiences. Goal 4: Prepare LEND fellows to have the critical thinking, research, business, and policy skills essential to implement systems-level change. Obj. 1 Provide didactic and experiential training in participatory research; and in Obj. 2 critically evaluating the scientific literature. Goal 5: Fellows utilized leadership skills to develop or disseminate new knowledge. Obj1: Fellows complete a research, quality improvement, or community-based leadership project. Goal 6: Evaluate program effectiveness and implement quality improvement strategies to improve LEND. Obj.1 Evaluate fellows' self-perceptions of increased knowledge and skills. Goal 7: Collaborate with & provide technical assistance (TA) to MCH professionals and organizations. Obj.1 Provide TA to Title V programs & other MCH or professional organizations.


We achieve our training objectives via the following activities: 1) 12 Courses; 2) Interdisciplinary didactic and clinical ASD/DD training; 3) Training in Family Collaboration by family faculty; 4) Leadership of a mentored research project, quality improvement project, or collaboration with a community-based provider working in underserved communities; and 5) Experiential learning about a community-based service provider.


Our LEND program has ongoing collaborations with the state Title V offices and provides services in Title V clinical programs. We collaborate with multiple state and local agencies in training fellows and improving the health infrastructure for individuals with ASD/DD, and other underserved populations. We work with a variety of other MCHB-funded programs.


We evaluate our fellows and our program. Fellows complete an Individualized Training Plan with progress reviewed every 4 months. We developed Core Competency and Autism Competency Measures to assess whether our program successfully teaches these competencies and we survey fellows 2, 5, and 10 years after completion to identify the career paths of former fellows.