1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

LoneStar LEND Training Program

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Pauline A Filipek, MD
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
6431 Fannin Street
Houston, TX  77030
Phone: (713) 500-3637


Texas continues to rank in the bottom 25% in most measures of service to children and youth with autistic spectrum and other developmental disorders (ASD/DD).

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1. To educate > 20 long-, > 5 medium- and > 50 short-term trainees (LTT, MTT, STT)/ year in interdisciplinary care for children and youth with ASD/DD; Goal 2. To increase the rate of accurate screening for and diagnosis of ASD/DDs, improving access to the earliest possible intervention; Goal 3. To provide CE opportunities for practicing professionals as MTT/ STTs; Goal 4. To partner with stakeholders to strengthen the service delivery infrastructure and systems of care for children with ASD/DD, particularly under-represented populations. Goal 5. LoneStar LEND will build upon its existing ongoing formative and summative Evaluation Plan to promote effective education and process improvement.


The LoneStar LEND represents five collaborative institutions, 15 Core and 28 Instructional Faculty from 19 Core Disciplines, and a curriculum that includes 1) Didactics [e.g., Core Seminars, 360 Interdisciplinary Case Conferences, Cultural/ Linguistic Responsiveness, Leadership Collaborative training, Disability Policy/Advocacy, Transition, etc.]; 2) Clinical Practicums in all aspects of care for children/youth with ASD/DD and their families, predominantly focused on under-represented and underserved populations; 3) Family-as- Teachers component. A Professional Education Initiative (PEI) will be implemented consisting of the LEND didactic components, with CEUs at no cost to TX residents. The LoneStar LEND Program goal is 300+ total additional trainees over Years 11-15.


The LoneStar LEND is a collaboration between UTH, the University of Houston [UH], Texas Woman's University [TWU], UH Clear Lake [UHCL], and Baylor College of Medicine [BCM]/Texas Children's Hospital [TCH]. We also collaborate with state and local agencies to extend the LEND impact beyond Houston, e.g., Southern LEND Consortium and the LEND Collective with the NCCC. Our LEND is a branch of the Act Early Texas! initiative, encompassing several major statewide efforts to improve services for those with ASD/DD.


Program Process and outcomes will be evaluated. The Program Process evaluation will measure the primary program inputs and work activities including: recruitment activities, participant characteristics and performance, and collaborations. The Outcome evaluation will measure the effectiveness of the program using multiple methods including secondary data analysis and surveys, e.g., LTT Leadership Competency gains, faculty and trainee contributions as indicated by peer reviewed publications/ presentations, trainee's post-graduation leadership activities, and rate change in diagnosis of ASD/DDs.