LEND 2017-08-10T14:05:48+00:00

LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities)

Interdisciplinary Leadership Training Program at WIHD

LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) is an interdisciplinary leadership training program, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the federal government at 52 universities around the country.

The LEND Program at WIHD is a two-semester interdisciplinary leadership training program. Program trainees include graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from health and education disciplines, self-advocates, and family members of children and adults with disabilities who want to develop knowledge and skills to take a leadership role working with and on behalf of children with disabilities and other special health care needs and their families.

Many trainees complete the LEND program as a component of full-time graduate training at an affiliated university. Trainees from many disciplines participate: audiology; psychology; pediatric dentistry; family specialist (parent or sibling of a person with a disability); genetic counseling; health advocacy; health administration; law; medicine; nursing; nutrition; occupational therapy; public health; pediatrics (general); physical therapy; self-advocates; social work; special education; and speech language pathology.


  • Stipended 320 hour program on Thursdays from early September to early May
  • Based on core values of cultural competence, family-centered practice, life course perspective,
interdisciplinary approach and evidence-based practice
  • Comprehensive three-course curriculum in an active and collaborative learning environment : Overview of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities; Seminar in Evidence-based Methods; Interdisciplinary Leadership Seminar
    LEND Curriculum can be found here.
  • Opportunity to earn a fifteen credit certificate in “Children with Special Health Care Needs” from New York Medical College CLICK HERE
  • LEND Program requirements aligned with requirements of the affiliated graduate programs of our trainees
Apply to Lend
Lend Curriculum and Highlights

Meet the LEND Team

Karen Edwards, MD MPH, LEND program director

Vice President for Education, Training and Research
Co-UCEDD Director, LEND Program Director
Dr. Edwards is Vice President for Education, Training and Research at WIHD, co-UCEDD Director (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) and director of the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) Program. She is Professor of Practice at the New York Medical College (NYMC) School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP). She received her university and medical school education at the University of Connecticut, completed her residency at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine. She received her MPH degree from NYMC SHSP. Dr. Edwards is President-elect of the Board of Directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Her career has focused on education and training of health professionals, faculty, medical students, residents, and health professions graduate students in the areas of communication skills, pediatric medicine, leadership and teaching skills, and developmental disabilities.

WIHD LEND faculty and staff

Patty Towle, PhD
Karen Edwards, MD, MPH
Barbara Levitz, MSEd
Patricia Patrick, DrPH
Katie Borras, MS, Project Coordinator, UCEDD
Jean Marie Reck