July 28, 2016

Kennedy Center’s LEND lands grant renewal from HRSA

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has received a $3.5 million grant over five years from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to fund the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND for graduate-level training.

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has received a $3.5 million grant over five years from the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) to fund the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND for graduate-level training.

LENDs — Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities — address the national need to train health professionals to provide culturally sensitive, patient- and family-centered, interprofessional care to children and youth with special health care needs, especially those with autism spectrum disorder and related neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/NDD).

Begun in Vanderbilt Pediatrics in 1999 and now administered by the Kennedy Center, the LEND is directed by Tyler Reimschisel, M.D., MHPE, assistant professor of Pediatrics and Neurology and director of the Division of Developmental Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics.

“With this grant renewal, I am excited that the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND will be able to expand our program to include Public Health students at Meharry Medical College and students from 10 professions at East Tennessee State University and Milligan College in Johnson City, Tennessee,” Reimschisel said. “By building on the strengths of our program and by including students from both urban and rural settings, I think that we significantly increase our impact on the lives of individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities as we provide leadership training to the next generation of health care professionals in this field.”

Continuing institutions and agencies in the consortium are Belmont University, Tennessee State University, University of Tennessee Nashville, and Family Voices of Tennessee at the Tennessee Disability Coalition.

LEND training is a one-year intensive (more than 300 hours) interprofessional training in 14 professions.

Training includes a rigorous core curriculum in ASD/NDD; a monthly leadership seminar series; a care navigation practicum in which trainees provide care management while learning about social determinants of health and community-based services; clinical experiences in various interprofessional, hospital-based, community-based, and public health clinics; individual and group projects; and a broad list of activities from which trainees can tailor their experiences based on their professional goals.

“The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND also provides educational opportunities for practicing health care professionals,” Reimschisel said.

Activities for health care professionals, some of which generate Continuing Medical Education credits, include a 10-week mini-fellowship for pediatric generalists, ASD screening workshops and interprofessional training events in Nashville and Johnson City.

“The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND provides a rich clinical and research training environment that is well integrated into the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center with our Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders, our University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and our Intellectual and Developmental Research Center,” said Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., VKC director, Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair, and professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics. “The expansion to East Tennessee is so important since it helps address the need for disability-related care in our state’s rural areas, which are under-resourced. The competitive renewal of the LEND funding is a tribute to Dr. Reimschisel’s outstanding leadership.”

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND was one of 49 LENDs funded nationally by HRSA for 2016-2021, including the LEND at the Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities, University of Tennessee Memphis.

For information on the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND, contact lend@vanderbilt.edu or call 615-936-1104.