The MCDD Announces Two New Strategic Partnerships (MD UCEDD)

April 7, 2017

The Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities (MCDD) is pleased to announce two new partnerships with the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) at Kennedy Krieger Institute and The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Together, these partners intend to convene key players in the disability system in Maryland to improve disability data access and quality.

The IAN team at Kennedy Krieger Institute has spent 10 years developing the world's largest online community of autism researchers and participants. With tens of thousands of participants, hundreds of researchers and research projects, and an online community of interest for participants, IAN is the largest patient and family-centered national autism data set in existence. IAN director Paul Lipkin, MD said, "We're proud that IAN is advancing new knowledge about autism and connecting families who live with autism. Our hope is that through this partnership with the MCDD, we can begin to leverage our knowledge and expertise to begin looking at other developmental disabilities in addition to autism."

The Hilltop Institute is a health research organization with expertise in Medicaid and in improving publicly financed health care systems that conducts research, analysis, and evaluations. Hilltop performs a variety of research activities regarding long-term services and supports for state and local agencies in Maryland, many of which are partners of the MCDD. "Our team is looking forward to working with both the MCDD and IAN as we leverage our respective strengths to ensure decision makers and the public have access to accurate, relevant, and meaningful information about disability,"said Cynthia Woodcock, MBA and Hilltop executive director. "I couldn't be more pleased about the prospect of working with these two world-class teams, each of which brings unique but complementary strengths to the table," said Chris Smith, PhD, MCDD director. The partners are currently in the planning stages of developing an interactive disability network, a comprehensive online disability data source and virtual community for Marylanders with developmental disabilities.