Southern LEND Regional Collaborative

April 28, 2021

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) trainees and faculty from the states of Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas participated in the Southern Regional Collaborative Seminars on November 20th and March 5th virtually via Zoom. The Southern Regional Collaborative Seminar is an opportunity for each state's program to come together to learn more about each other's programs and to give trainees an opportunity to network.

Due to COVID-19, the Southern Regional Collaborative Seminars were held virtually with every trainee and faculty member joining individually rather than in groups. The November 20th agenda consisted of each state having an assigned trainee present about his/her state program and then breakout rooms for trainees to network and share about their journeys that led them to LEND and what they have learned throughout LEND so far. The March 5th agenda consisted of each state having an assigned trainee share what their trainees have learned, what activity has been their favorite, resources that exist within their prospective states, and breakout rooms for trainees to discuss four of the LEND competencies.

Co-Director of Training for the Arkansas LEND Program, Elizabeth Cleveland, PhD, stated, "Our Southern Regional Collaborative Seminars are always a fun and innovative way to introduce our trainees to trainees and faculty from other states and the programs within each state. Previous years have required us to join virtually in large groups, but this year everyone joined individually. We created breakout rooms and facilitated discussion questions for small groups of faculty and trainees and then a larger group discussion with all 70+ participants. Our trainees and faculty had an absolutely wonderful time. I was pleasantly surprised with the ease of the seminars and I was highly encouraged with the positive feedback we received from both faculty and trainees."

When asked about her experience as a trainee in the Southern Regional Collaborative Seminars, Mississippi LEND Trainee Kasondra Toney stated, "As a LEND trainee in 2020-2021, my experience attending the Southern Regional Collaborative Seminars was amazing. Being able to present my state's LEND program (Mississippi) to my fellow trainees and faculty allowed me to achieve a personal goal. The best aspect of the seminars was getting to connect with faculty and trainees that are a part of the LEND program in other states and sharing how our experiences with LEND have impacted our lives and the direction of our future careers."

Each state's LEND program provides long-term, graduate level interdisciplinary training as well as interdisciplinary services and care. The purpose of the LEND Program is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities, which is accomplished by preparing trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields.

To learn more about the Southern Regional Consortium, contact Oklahoma LEND Co-Director, Megan Peters, at [email protected].