1. MCH Workforce Development
  2. Funded Projects

Funded Projects

Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (URLEND)

Project Website

Grant Status: Active

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

Project Director(s):

Sarah Winter, MD
University of Utah
University of Utah
295 Chipeta Way
Salt Lake City, UT  84108-1287
Phone: 801-585-6943


Rural and frontier challenges in UT, ID, MT, ND, and WY affect provisions of high quality, evidence-based, culturally responsive health care to children and youth with autism spectrum disorder/developmental disabilities (ASD/DD), and their families. Development of leaders in health care and administration is critical to meet needs of children and youth with ASD/DD and their families. Tier 4 level and supplemental funding support is requested for this multi-state LEND training program. The program has, over the past 20 years of previous funding, an extensive network of experienced faculty, families, and agencies to develop these leaders. Goals: The program prepares at least 30 core leadership trainees, from at least 12 disciplines, annually with knowledge and skills for provision of family-/person-centered, culturally and linguistically responsive services in enhanced systems of care. In addition, URLEND offers training for at least 5 interdisciplinary leadership trainees to return to the program for a second year of specific training in surveillance, assessment, treatment, and advocacy in autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan. The core program consists of 300 contact hours of a 2-semester interdisciplinary, person-/family-centered curriculum (program) with integrated clinical, leadership, research, community-based learning components, and didactics to train graduate and post-graduate students, family members, self-advocates, and community professionals that incorporates the essential MCH competencies. The Autism Enhanced second year program is 150 plus hours of clinical, leadership, and didactic learning for those trainees wishing for additional expertise in ASD. Faculty provide evidenced-based CE/professional development/consultation/technical assistance opportunities to health care professionals in Utah and partner states that address current and emerging priorities in the provision of famil-ycentered, community-based integrated systems of care, and actively engage in national efforts and initiatives.


A competency-based curriculum addresses trainees' individualized learning needs. Videoconferencing is used for didactic training, containing costs, expanding faculty, and extending leadership preparation to participants in five rural states. Competencies are mastered through clinical, leadership/research, and didactic experiences mentored by highly qualified, interdisciplinary faculty and agency partners.


URLEND partners with the University of Utah, Department of Pediatrics; Utah State University entities: The Center for Persons with Disabilities and The Sorenson Legacy Foundation Center for Clinical Excellence


URLEND has designed and will employ a rigorous, systematic action evaluation approach to monitor the implementation of the project's objectives and activities (process) and to evaluate project outcomes. Key to this process is the development and implementation of an overall Evaluation Plan, which involves both process (formative) and outcome (summative).