Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2017-2018 program year. 

The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program at the University of New England, Maine Behavioral Healthcare and Maine Medical Center is a 9-month academic, clinical, leadership and public policy training program in the field of developmental disabilities.

Trainees will engage in didactic and clinical experiences provided by leading experts in developmental disabilities in Maine. Training includes exposure to multi-disciplinary diagnosis, assessment and treatment, mentorship and lectures covering all aspects of caring for children with developmental disabilities. A trainee stipend up to $14,000 is available for qualified graduate students, new graduates, family members and master’s level practicing clinicians.

Application Requirements

  • Qualified applicants will possess leadership potential and have or be in the final year of education toward a degree in one of the following disciplines: Family Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pediatrics, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Work, Special Education or Speech-Language Pathology.
  • Qualified individuals with disabilities or family members of people with disabilities who are interested in pursuing careers focusing on disability/chronic illness and have demonstrated leadership potential are encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in acquiring knowledge and skills to evaluate, diagnose or rule out, develop and provide evidence-based interventions to individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities, in an interprofessional, family-centered and culturally competent manner.
  • The LEND program involves a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week on-site (Fridays from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. at UNE and other times flexibly scheduled) from September to June (300 hours total).

Admissions FAQs

What is the LEND Program?
The Maine LEND is part of a national program to educate leaders who can make a difference in the lives of people and families affected by neurodevelopmental and related disabilities. LEND programs are funded and supported by a federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. The Maine LEND is housed at the Westbrook College of Health Professions of the University of New England, Portland. The Maine LEND includes didactic education, clinical observations, team meetings, community practice opportunities, family experiences, leadership development, and elective research, service, and scholarship. 

Who are LEND Trainees? 
The Maine LEND is open to interprofessional practitioners throughout the state of Maine including nurses, social workers, psychologists, pediatricians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, public health professionals, family members and self-advocates. We seek to build a diverse team of motivated graduate students in the final year of professional preparation or practitioners in the field. 

What are the benefits of being a LEND Trainee?
This training program includes a stipend and provides individually mentored education which prepares professionals to take on unique, individualized, team-based leadership. LEND trained professionals are proficient in working in clinical and community practice environments with infants, children, youth and families affected by neurodevelopmental disabilities.

What is the commitment of a LEND Trainee?
The Maine LEND is a 9-month program that runs from early September through May during the typical fall and spring semester schedule of the University of New England. There is a weekly time commitment of 10 hours that include Friday morning didactic courses and once-monthly Friday afternoon leadership development. Flexible time is necessary for weekly family involvement, mentor meetings, clinical observation and interprofessional practice opportunities. 

With whom does the Maine LEND program partner and serve?
Local clinical partners include Maine Medical Center’s offices of Pediatric Neurology and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, and Northeast Hearing and Speech. In addition, Maine LEND partners with sites outside of the greater Portland area including Maine General Hospital in Augusta, the Maine Developmental Disabilities Council, native, immigrant and underserved parts of the state. LEND serves children and families affected by Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

What are the attributes of a strong Maine LEND Trainee?
We are looking for diverse students/professionals with a dedicated career purpose in working with children and families affected by neurodevelopmental disabilities. The ideal trainee will portray compassion, leadership, creativity, family-centered and interprofessional team attitudes. Prior experience, education, service and scholarship in neurodevelopmental disabilities are valued.