ATLANTA - The Maternal Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at Georgia State University a $3.1 million, five-year grant to start an interdisciplinary training program for professionals, advocates and family members working for and with children with disabilities.
The bureau, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has also designated the CLD as the home of Georgia's first Leadership in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program.
The Georgia LEND is an interdisciplinary training program for future professionals, disability advocates, and family members. Graduate students representing disciplines such as nursing, public health, social work, nutrition, speech-language pathology, audiology, psychology, physical therapy, and health administration are eligible to participate in LEND.
A physician from the Morehouse School of Medicine will also participate in the program. Trainees will learn to work in interdisciplinary teams to better address the unique gifts and challenges of children with disabilities and autism.
"The Georgia LEND program is committed to improving the care of children with disabilities and autism while reducing health disparities in underserved populations," said Daniel Crimmins, clinical professor of public health and director of Georgia LEND. "This grant will allow us to educate the next generation of leaders who will support Georgia's citizens with disabilities in living more productive, fuller lives."
There are now 44 LEND programs across the United States. Collectively, they form a network that addresses regional and national issues of importance to children with special health care needs, with a focus on children with autism and related disorders and their families.
"This grant will expand the capacity of practitioners in Georgia to provide quality care, to engage in evidence based practice and to forward a 21st century research agenda to support the building of Georgia's infrastructure to better respond to the unique needs of children living with autism and other disabilities," said Andrew Roach, associate professor of school psychology and associate director of Georgia LEND.
Georgia LEND will operate as a program of the CLD at Georgia State, in collaboration with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These and other community partners offer the expert faculty and resources necessary to provide exceptional interdisciplinary training and services.
Contact: Jeremy Craig, 404-413-1357 University Relations
Aug. 2, 2011