1. MCH Workforce Development
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Funded Projects

North Carolina LEND (NC-LEND)

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Rebecca Pretzel, PhD
Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
CB# 7255, UNC School of Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-7255
Phone: 919-966-4806


The complexity of care for Children with Special Health Care Needs, including children with autism spectrum disorders and related developmental disabilities (ASD/DD) and their families, presents significant challenges in NC and the nation. The work force and systems of care available to meet these needs is insufficient, contributing to delays in screening, diagnosis and evidence-based treatment.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1-Interdisciplinary Training (Obj.1.1 Recruit and provide interdisciplinary training to 30 long-term trainees). Goal 2-Exemplary Clinical and Community-Based Services (Obj.2.1 Maintain at least 10 interdisciplinary teams and programs); Goal 3-Continuing Education (Obj. 3.3 Present a minimum of 20 seminars, workshops, and institutes on ASD/DD topics per year to be attended collectively by >1500); Goal 4-Technical Assistance and Consultation (Obj. 4.1. NC-LEND faculty will provide >500 hours of TA/C on ASD/DD a year to Title V/MCH partners including community agencies, special educators/related school personnel, and health care providers; Goal 5-Research and Dissemination (Obj. 5.2 Produce at least 25 ASD/DD-related educational products annually).


NC-LEND uses a problem-based learning strategy to promote MCH and public health principles including: a life course perspective, interdisciplinary practice, cultural and linguistic competence, person-/family-centered care, evidence-based practices and research, technology for teaching and outreach, and communication skills. Our curriculum includes dedicated and individualized leadership training and associated interdisciplinary clinical experiences at CIDD and in the Title V community. Faculty and trainees also conduct disability-related coursework; state, regional, and national Continuing Education and Technical Assistance/Consultation; and research.


Our coordination capabilities are facilitated by longstanding collaboration with NC Title V/MCH agencies, the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities, Disabilities Rights of NC, the Autism Society of North Carolina, Family Support Network and participation of NC-LEND faculty on state advisory committees and panels (e.g. NC Medical Homes Health Initiative; Early Hearing Detection and Intervention). At the national level, the Southeast Regional LEND Consortium continues to collaborate in areas of mutual interest and need.


Using a logic model, program evaluation will be coordinated with the National Information Reporting System and National LEND Performance Measures and tied to trainee progress, curriculum components, and statewide impact, particularly with respect to increasing the number of individuals who can screen, assess, diagnose, and provide treatment for individuals with ASD/DD and families.