10 years of the LEND Family Trainee in Oregon

November 13, 2017

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Family Trainee fellowship in the Oregon Health & Science University's LEND program. The Alumni gathered on September 28th for happy hour on the OHSU campus to celebrate and look back at their many accomplishments.

The impact of this position has been significant in the program and in the lives of the trainees. The reunion was an opportunity for former trainees and mentors to share where they are now in their professional journeys. Though the ventures varied, the consistent theme was one of dedication to the work of disability awareness and support. From the original mentor/trainee team, (Rebecca Adelmann and Carol Criswell) to current team (Tamara Bakewell and Stacy Stenzel), all of these individuals have been strong advocates for the children who experience disabilities in our immediate community and beyond.

The work of Oregon's LEND family alumni manifests in many different ways and is an excellent reminder of how varied the scope of disability service really is. Examples of their work includes: Building Camp Odakoda, the only overnight camp in the Northwestern United States for people aged 10-18 years who experience High Functioning Autism, designing and implementing a wellness center for teens in Gresham, and ground-up development of a new inclusive residential community in North Portland. LEND Family Trainee Alumni have also supported the Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center, the Autism Society of Oregon, Multnomah County Developmental Disabilities Program and Providence Hospital's Family Navigator system.

Perhaps the most far reaching asset shared by all former LEND Family Trainees is their ability to advocate for positive change and understanding in the world. As Lydia Dennehy (2016-‘17) shared, "I was challenged to step up my advocacy work and take part in a larger discussion of improving the lives of families who have children with special health needs on a state level."

In addition to community service and leadership, the LEND Alums have furthered the education and understanding of their peers in the LEND cohort. The new professionals' perspectives are broadened by hearing about the family experience. As LEND Family Trainee Misti Moxley (2009-‘10) stated, "The LEND program provides a unique opportunity for clinicians to learn to see patients and treatments from the perspective of the patient and families view. They are able to more intimately understand the feelings and issues that families face."

Today it is easy to take for granted that LEND programs incorporate the concept of family centered care and the inclusion of a family perspective in the clinical and educational environment. Ten years ago, however, it was a new concept in the OHSU LEND program. It took a concerted effort by determined family leaders and like-minded faculty to build the program. Thank you to all of those who built the foundation of the Family Trainee Fellowship, and to those who continue to support it.

Photo caption:
Standing: Shelley Barnes and Tamara Bakewell (Family Faculty) Seated, left to right: Misti Moxley, Lorraine Ball, Laura Wilson, Kory Keller (LEND Faculty) Kurt Freeman (LEND Director) Lydia Dennehy, Stacy Stenzel, Rebecca Adelman (Family Faculty) Alicia DeLashmutt and Dawn Santos.