About the National LEND Network

Program Purpose

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) provides interdisciplinary training to enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of professionals dedicated to caring for children with neurodevelopmental and other related developmental disabilities (DD), including autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Funded through the Autism CARES Act of 2014, LEND programs promote education, early detection, and intervention in ASD. LEND program trainees participate in academic, clinical, leadership and community opportunities and receive training in cultural and linguistic competence using a family-centered approach.

LEND programs improve the health of children who have, or are at risk for, neurodevelopmental or related disabilities by preparing trainees from a wide variety of professional disciplines to assume leadership roles and to ensure high levels of clinical competence. Through the grant, LEND programs:

  • Increase awareness of ASD 
  • Reduce barriers to screening and diagnosis of ASD and DD
  • Promote evidence-based interventions for individuals with ASD and other DD 
  • Train professionals to utilize valid screening tools to diagnose and rule out ASD and DD

Program Impact


In FY 2015, 81% of LEND graduates (5 years following completion of program) were working in an interdisciplinary manner to serve MCH populations and nearly 87% demonstrated field leadership in academic, clinical, public health practice, and/or public policy and related activities.

In FY 2015, LEND programs prepared 1,339 long-term trainees, 3,196 medium-term trainees, and 12,772 short-term trainees. Nearly 22% of long-term trainees were from underrepresented racial groups and over 9% were Hispanic/Latino.


In FY 2015, 683 LEND faculty members from across the network representing at least 27 disciplines mentored trainees using innovative clinical and didactic curricula to increase the pipeline of professionals ready to work with children with ASD/DD.

Interdisciplinary Care

In FY 2015, LEND conducted more than 102,300 diagnostic evaluations to confirm or rule out ASD or other DD.

Title V

In FY 2015, LEND programs reported collaborating with State Title V (MCH) agencies or other MCHrelated programs on more than 6,100 activities in areas of service, training, continuing education, technical assistance, product development, and research. 

Program Locations

  • Alabama: University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Alaska: University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • Arizona: University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Arkansas: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock
  • California: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles
  • Connecticut: University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington
  • Delaware: University of Delaware, Newark
  • Colorado: University of Colorado, Denver
  • Florida: University of Miami School of Medicine
  • Georgia: Georgia State University, Atlanta
  • Hawaii: University of Hawaii, Honolulu
  • Illinois: University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Indiana: Indiana University, Indianapolis
  • Iowa: University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Kansas: University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Kansas City
  • Louisiana: Louisiana State University, New Orleans
  • Maine: University of New England, Portland
  • Maryland: Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore
  • Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester; Children's Hospital, Boston
  • Michigan: Wayne State University, Detroit
  • Minnesota: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Missouri: University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Nebraska: University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • New Jersey: Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
  • Nevada: University of Nevada, Reno
  • New Hampshire: Dartmouth College, Lebanon
  • New Mexico: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
  • New York: Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, University of Rochester; Westchester Institute for Human Development, Valhalla
  • North Carolina: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Ohio: University of Cincinnati; The Ohio State University, Columbus, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Oklahoma City
  • Oregon: Oregon Health & Science University, Portland
  • Pennsylvania: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; University of Pittsburgh
  • Rhode Island: Rhode Island Hospital, Providence
  • South Carolina: Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston
  • South Dakota: University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls
  • Tennessee: University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis; Vanderbilt University, Nashville
  • Texas: University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • Utah: University of Utah Health Science Center, Salt Lake City
  • Vermont: University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Virginia: Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond
  • Washington: University of Washington, Seattle
  • Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • West Virginia: West Virginia University, Morgantown

Division of MCH Workforce Development

DIvision of MCH Workforce Development (DMCHWD), part of HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, provides national leadership and direction in educating and training our nation’s future leaders in maternal and child health (MCH). Special emphasis is placed on the development and implementation of inter-professional, family-centered, community-based, and culturally competent systems of care across the entire life course with experiences in one life stage shaping health in later stages. DMCHWD supports programs established in federal legislation (Title V of the Social Security Act and the Autism CARES Act) to complement state and local health agency efforts. DMCHWD collaborates with state MCH programs, academic institutions, professional organizations, and other health training programs of the federal government to ensure that MCH initiatives are unique and based on evidencebased practices. In FY 2016, DMCHWD awarded 161 grants, an investment of approximately $47 million. Grants are awarded to develop trainees for leadership roles in the areas of: MCH teaching, research, clinical practice, and/or public health administration and policy making.

Program Contacts: Robyn Schulhof, (301) 443-0258 | Rita Maldonado, (301) 443-3622 | Karla Brewer, (301) 443-2520

DMCHWD Training Website