Training Overview

MI-LEND (Michigan Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities) is an interdisciplinary leadership training program, funded under the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support (CARES) Act, and is administered by the Health Resources and Service's Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). The goal of the MI-LEND program is to train emerging leaders who will improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with or at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities and other related health care needs. A major focus of the MI-LEND is to increase the number of professionals with the knowledge and skills to provide evidence-based screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. MI-LEND is a two-semester training program that fosters the development of family-centered and culturally competent interdisciplinary leadership skills.

Program Objectives

  • Increase the numbers of graduate-level students, family members, and individuals with developmental disabilities prepared to meet the needs of those with neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Increase the number of providers available to diagnose and treat those who have neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Enhance the clinical expertise and leadership skills of practicing professionals
  • Integrate family-centered perspectives into every level of the program

Principles and Values 

  • Leadership is a developmental process of ever-deepening personal development, skill in working with others, and capacity to beneficially influence systems of care and policy
  • Family- and person-centered services are designed in partnership with those who receive the services, with the goal of meaningful community inclusion for all
  • Care is coordinated, integrated, and culturally responsive, including best practices such as Medical Home and natural supports
  • Recognition that social determinants of health such as individual, genetic, physical, social, and environmental influences within a Life Course Framework have an important and complex impact on health and well-being
  • Commitment to improving access for underserved children and eliminating health disparities based on disability, racial/ethnic, geographic, or socio-economic differences 

Program Requirements

Trainees will complete at least 300 hours of didactic, clinical, and experiential learning. Trainees will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the program. A trainee stipend is also available.