LEND 2018-04-05T14:27:31-04:00

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 sites around the country.

The LEND Program at WIHD is a two-semester interdisciplinary leadership training program. LEND trainees include graduate students and post-doctoral fellows; self-advocates; and family members of children and adults with disabilities. Through participating in LEND, trainees develop knowledge and skills they will need to become leaders working with and on behalf of children with disabilities and other special health care needs, and their families, to improve health outcomes and decrease disparities.

Trainees from many disciplines participate: audiology; family specialist (parent or sibling of a person with a disability); genetic counseling; health advocacy; health administration; medicine; nursing; nutrition; occupational therapy; psychology; public health; self-advocacy; social work; special education; and speech language pathology.


  • Stipended 320 hour program on Thursdays from early September to early May
  • Strong curriculum focus on: cultural competence, family partnerships, life course perspective, interdisciplinary and evidence-based practice
  • Comprehensive curriculum in an active and collaborative learning environment : Overview of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities; Seminar in Evidence-based Methods; Interdisciplinary Leadership in Action
  • Option to earn a fifteen credit certificate in “Children with Special Health Care Needs” from New York Medical College. For more information, please 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

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 served as President of the Board of Directors of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities in 2016. 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.


Jean Marie Reck

Jean Marie Reck
Program Coordinator

Jenean Castillo, PhD
Jenna Lequia, PhD
Barbara Levitz, MSEd
Karen Millman, MSEd
Patricia Patrick, DrPH
Trupti Rao, PsyD
Beth Reiman, PhD
Patty Towle, PhD