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Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Interdisciplinary Leadership

Each discipline brings a unique and important perspective in providing a comprehensive approach to complex problems. Interdisciplinary teams collaborate with families to improve the health and development of children, perform cutting edge research, and advocate for improved systems of care.

Our Trainees

CA-LEND trainees are a diverse group of graduate, post graduate, postdoctoral and family support leaders. We select academically prepared applicants who have leadership potential and outstanding experience and commitment to improving the quality of life for children with NDD and special health care needs.

CA-LEND Program Disciplines

CA-LEND faculty provide training in the following disciplines:

  • Audiology

  • Family Support

  • Health Management & Policy

  • Nursing

  • Nutrition

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Pediatrics

  • Oral Health

  • Physical Therapy

  • Psychology

  • Public Health

  • Self-Advocacy

  • Social Work

  • Special Education

  • Speech-Language Pathology

Training Curriculum

The CA-LEND training program uses the life course perspective in a MCH competency-based curriculum to train the next generation of interdisciplinary leaders. Trainees develop leadership skills through an intensive and rigorous program in community, didactic, and clinical venues. The ultimate goal is to foster state of the art programs and policies to maximize outcomes for children and youth with NDD and special health care needs.


CA-LEND is a comprehensive 300 hours/32 week training program that runs September through May. A majority of the training activities are scheduled on Wednesdays, 8:00 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. Our curriculum consists of seven modules that cover the following areas:


• Genomic Conditions

• Neurological and Neuromotor Disabilities

• Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities

• Autism Spectrum Disorder

• Intellectual and Learning Disabilities

• Chronic Illness and Special Health Care Needs

• Vision, Hearing, Speech and Language Disorders


Learning modalities include web-based seminars, clinical cases, small group exercises, presentation skill development, interdisciplinary team modeling, service system engagement, family-based experiences, policy and advocacy work, research methodology, self-reflective leadership training, and clinical exposure.


The long-term training culminates in a Leadership Project in an area of interest with a tangible policy, research or community education product to complete the CA-LEND training.

CA-LEND 2023-2024 Application

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CA-LEND Application Form

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CA-LEND Certificate Requirements

Successful mastery of competencies in an individually tailored learning program qualify a CA-LEND trainee to receive a long-term certificate. Leaders in the field recognize the certificate as an advanced leadership credential.


Trainees receiving a certificate of completion are expected to achieve competencies in the following domains:

• Ethical and Professional Conduct

• Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

• Interdisciplinary Practice/ Collaborative Decision Making

• Health Care Systems and Communities

• Public Policy

• Critical Thinking

• Leadership

• Family Centered and Culturally Competent Care

• Communication, Teaching and Mentoring

• Discipline Specific Skills


Medium and short-term training opportunities are available, depending on the participant’s qualifications, interest, experience and availability. This program is sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).

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