Vanderbilt Consortium LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities)


The Vanderbilt Consortium LEND (VCL) prepares graduate-level health professionals in 15 professions 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 neurodevelopmental disabilities and related disabilities (NDRD) in children and to increase access to family-centered, community-based, culturally competent, interprofessional services.

The program focuses on preparing health professionals to assume leadership roles and develop interprofessional team skills and advanced clinical skills, and research skills 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, Tennessee State University Vanderbilt University, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 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.

LEND programs are interprofessional leadership training programs federally funded through HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

There are 60 LEND programs located in every state, the District of Columbia, the United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and six Pacific Basin jurisdictions, either as an awardee or in partnership with a LEND program. Collectively, they form a national network that shares information and resources and maximizes their impact. They work together to address national issues of importance to children with special health care needs and their families, exchange best practices and develop shared products.

The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) provides technical assistance and consultation to address the needs of the LEND and other MCHB long-term interprofessional training programs in developing leadership systems of quality education for health providers within the Title V Maternal and Child Health network.

Program Focuses

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

  • Audiology (East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University)
  • Deaf Education (Vanderbilt University)
  • Dentistry (Meharry Medical College)
  • Family (Family Voices, TN Disability Coalition)
  • Genetic Counseling (Vanderbilt University)
  • Medicine (East Tennessee State University, Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University)
  • Nursing (Vanderbilt University)
  • Nutrition (East Tennessee State University)
  • Occupational Therapy (Belmont University)
  • Physical Therapy (Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University)
  • Psychology (Vanderbilt University)
  • Public Health (East Tennessee State University)
  • Self Advocate (East Tennesssee, Middle Tennessee)
  • Special Education (East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University)
  • Speech-Language Pathology (East Tennessee State University, Vanderbilt University)
  • Individuals from these professions represent the core faculty and provide mentorship in the implementation of the training program. A parent/family advisor serves on the faculty as well.


    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]

VCL Director


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 T73MC30767. 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.