<p>In a monthly  LEND Leadership Seminar, interdisciplinary teams learn and practice leadership skills  </p>

In a monthly LEND Leadership Seminar, interdisciplinary teams learn and practice leadership skills

Vanderbilt Consortium LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities)

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND (VCL) prepares graduate-level health professionals in 15 disciplines to assume leadership roles to serve children with neurodevelopmental and related disabilities.

Leadership Education

The purpose of the Vanderbilt Consortium LEND is to reduce and prevent NDRD (neurodevelopmental disabilities and related disabilities) in children and to increase access to family-centered, community-based, culturally competent, interdisciplinary services.

The program focuses on preparing health professionals to assume leadership roles and develop interprofessional team skills, advanced clinical skills, and research skills, in order to meet the complex needs of children with NDRD.

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND includes faculty and trainees from Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, Milligan College, Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University, as well as affiliates from Family Voices of Tennessee.

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND works closely with a variety of university, family and state agency partners to provide workshops, conferences and distance education at the community, state, regional and national levels. We also provide technical assistance to health delivery systems and organizations that support services to individuals with ASD/NDD, especially underserved populations in rural settings and those with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

Comments from former trainees

My LEND training at Vanderbilt has served me well. Since beginning my career as a Physical Therapist, I have been a part of evidence based practice groups writing and publishing clinical guidelines to guide our PT practice on body weight support locomotor training in children with a variety of diagnoses. I have been a lead PT with increased responsibilities of management. I have been a part of summer intensives offered by our department. My co-worker and I began Ballet Moves, a program at the Cincinnati Ballet Company for children with Down syndrome and this past year the first person with disabilities was cast in the CBC’s Nutcracker. Most recently I have partnered with our Colorectal Team to treat children with bowel and bladder dysfunction, a service that to my knowledge no other PT is doing in Cincinnati, OH. I attribute all of this to the foundation LEND provided me.
--Sarah Goodwin Fox, PT, DPT
2012 LEND Trainee/Physical Therapy

The LEND training at Vanderbilt helped me to see outside of the box of my own profession. It prepared me to have conversations around advocacy and public policy and to solve problems more creatively. I feel more capable to lead and support those around me as a result of my training at Vanderbilt.
--Michele Iemolo, PsyD, BCBA
2016 LEND Trainee/Psychology

I think the LEND program was one of the best educational experiences I have ever had. As a former academic educator, I could see how much careful preparation had been devoted to this program. If the quality of any program is a reflection of its faculty and administration, then in my opinion, the LEND program at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is of the highest quality that a graduate student can ever ask for.
--Jamshid Khoshnoodi, PhD
2016 LEND Trainee/Social Work

Lend Trainees

LEND Long Term Trainees – 2016

Program Focuses

The LEND Program provides interprofessional leadership training for advanced graduate students and post-graduate professionals representing the fields of: 

  • Audiology
  • Deaf Education
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Nutrition
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pediatrics
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • Special Education
  • Speech-Language Pathology

Professionals from these disciplines represent the core faculty and provide mentorship in the implementation of the training program. A parent/family advisor serves on the faculty as well.

LEND Contacts and Advisory Council

Email: LEND@vanderbilt.edu

The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T73MC00050. Content herein should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND is committed to increasing the number of students and faculty from underrepresented minorities who are in the program. In this video African-American and Latino health care professionals who serve individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities are interviewed about the factors that led them to choose their careers and the multitude of benefits that they experience in those careers.

View Video Below [4:32 min]