Seventh Annual Midwest LEND Consortium Meeting

November 3, 2011

Trainees playing the Life Course game
Trainees playing the Life Course game

LEND trainees and faculty/staff from Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas gathered in Omaha, Nebraska on October 9-10, 2011 for the 8th Annual Midwest LEND Consortium. Jody Pirtle, the AUCD Virtual Trainee, joined the group of 63 LEND trainees and 22 LEND faculty and staff for the two-day meeting.

On Sunday afternoon, trainees and faculty participated in a creative leadership workshop developed by the Omaha Creative Institute. Participants were divided into small groups with a mix of students from different states and various disciplines. Dan Gilbert from Learning Innovations facilitated a number of interactive activities designed to foster free and creative thinking and help participants get to know each other. Trainees and staff later met for dinner and conversation at the home of Wayne Stuberg, Nebraska LEND Faculty in Physical Therapy. While there, trainees also participated in Life Course games which helped them better understand the impact of social determinants on a person's health and well-being.

On Monday, the group met for a day-long conference at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Thomson Alumni Center. Dr. Magda Peck, Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Public Health Practice at the UNMC College of Public Health, gave the keynote address: "Life Course and Other Visions of Maternal and Child Health." She provided an enlightening and lively discussion of how the Lifecourse vision incorporates MCH values and beliefs, systems thinking, and the longitudinal perspective of how social determinants influence health. Prior to lunch, the trainees participated in small-group, roundtable discussions about leadership activities within their respective disciplines and LEND programs.

During the afternoon session, the group listened to and learned from a panel of family members who shared their experiences related to living with a child with a disability. The afternoon concluded with a presentation by Dr. Peck entitled, "Enriching Your Career Through Mentoring Relationships." She provided valuable insights on mentoring relationships from both the mentor and mentee perspective.