Midwest Regional Consortium



Midwest LEND Group

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  1. To serve as a network for faculty, staff, and trainees of the member LEND programs to connect with each other and interact.

  2. To introduce the trainees and faculty of the Midwest LEND programs to the national and regional LEND network including faculty, trainees and their respective training programs, clinical services, advocacy, public policy, and emerging areas of interest and research.  The primary mechanism to fulfill this goal has been through the annual meetings of the Midwest LEND Consortium.  Topics addressed at past Consortium meetings have included:  personal leadership development, emotional intelligence, autism, cultural competency, emergency preparedness, career networking and leadership, team leadership development, parent and family panels, life course, and annual updates from AUCD and MCHB.

  3. To enhance the training programs of Consortium members through regional and national classes provided by telecommunications.

    • Examples of this have included teleconferences on national legislative issues provided by the Director of Legislative Affairs of the AUCD.
  4. To provide a mechanism for the recruitment of trainees from member programs to specialized regional training programs such as internships, residencies and post-doctoral fellowships in other Midwest LEND  programs.

  5. To promote the short term exchange of trainees or faculty between member programs to enhance the educational programs for trainees in the Midwest.
    • This includes short term externships for trainees and visiting professorships for faculty in other Midwest LEND programs.
  6. To provide a rapid mechanism for LEND Directors and faculty to discuss regional collaborative efforts in teaching, the provision of clinical services, research and continuing education. The Consortium allows for discussion and implementation of new opportunities as they arise at any time during the course of a grant cycle.

    • Recent examples of this have included opportunities for joint ADOS training for Consortium trainees provided by the Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri LEND Programs and collaboration regarding the submission of two grants to HRSA to enhance regional health education in the area of disabilities services among underserved populations in the Upper Midwest (applications not funded)
  7. The Midwest Consortium is a means to rapidly contact the Midwest LEND programs regarding questions, concerns or the implementation of new programs as requested by AUCD or MCHB.


The Midwest LEND Consortium first convened at an exploratory meeting hosted by the SD LEND Program in Sioux Falls on April 29, 2002 in response to the recommendation by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau that LEND programs collaborate nationally. The purpose of this first meeting was to explore the potential for collaboration between the LEND Programs in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Colorado. The Consortium has evolved into a permanent part of the Midwest LEND Programs and includes the LEND Programs in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Minnesota.

The Midwest LEND Consortium initiated an annual conference for all LEND faculty and trainees in 2005. This annual meeting is held in Omaha, NE (due to central location) in October each year. Representatives from AUCD and MCHB participate in the conference program as well as regional and national speakers on topics related to leadership development and other LEND issues.


Consortium Activities: Upcoming



Consortium Activities: archived

Eighth Annual Midwest LEND Consortium Meeting   |   October 7-8, 2012


Seventh Annual Midwest LEND Consortium Meeting
October 9-10, 2011


pptx File MWLEND Agenda 10-2011.pdf(128KB) [download]

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 Thompson 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.

Sixth Annual Midwest LEND Consortium Meeting
October 10-11, 2010


pptx File MWLEND Agenda 10-2010.pdf(124KB) [download]

LEND trainees and faculty/staff from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, converged on Omaha and the Nebraska LEND program on the afternoon of 10-10-10. The group was joined by Denise Sofka, Project Officer for LEND (HRSA), and Jamie Perry, LEND Technical Assistance Director (AUCD). In attendance were 80 trainees and 27 faculty and staff members.

Trainee activities on Sunday afternoon were led by second-year LEND post-docs. Trainees were divided into small groups with a mix of students from different states and various disciplines. These small groups engaged in a number of leadership discussions and interactions to get acquainted and to learn from each other. One teamwork activity encouraged discussions about the potential challenges in working with a diverse group of colleagues, along with the positive outcomes that can be achieved. The trainees also enjoyed a discussion about the personal qualities of leaders. Later in the afternoon, trainees participated in a custom-made LEND Jeopardy game to test their knowledge of the LEND program and to learn more about each individual state within the Midwest consortium.

LEND faculty and staff met with Denise Sofka and Jamie Perry, and spent the afternoon sharing programmatic information around the topics of diversity, recruitment, curriculum, and the upcoming LEND grant competition. Trainees and staff later met for dinner and conversation at the home of Wayne Stuberg, Nebraska LEND Faculty in Physical Therapy. On Monday, October 11th, the group met for a day-long conference at the University of Nebraska-Omaha Thomson Alumni Center. Tawara Goode, MA, Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence provided the keynote address, "Cultural Competence: Implications for LEND Programs," and spent the morning sharing resources and engaging the group in thought and discussion about the topic.

After lunch, Denise Sofka and Jamie Perry provided information about AUCD and LEND, and encouraged trainees to participate in the multitude of activities available to them through these networks.

The final part of the day was devoted to learning about family issues, including those issues affecting families from underserved groups. Trainees first heard from a family which included the father, mother and siblings as they discussed their journey and their relationship with their youngest child who was born with a disability.

A panel of parents who had children with disabilities, and a young man with a disability, represented a range of underserved groups, and spoke about their individual experiences and provided many insights to all of us about their interactions with healthcare professionals.

At the end of the afternoon, faculty, staff and trainees completed program evaluations, and shared closing remarks, concluding the six-state meeting for another year.


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Iowa's University Center for Excellence on Disabilities 
Center for Disabilities and Development 
100 Hawkins Drive 
Iowa City, IA 52242-1011 
Main Phone:  319-356-1335 
Main Fax:  319-356-8284 
Main Email:  [email protected] 
Website:  http://www.uihealthcare.org/UCEDD/ 
Website 2:  http://www.uihealthcare.org/UCEDD/ILEND/ 

Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation 
University of Nebraska Medical Center 
985450 Nebraska Medical Center 
Omaha, NE 68198-5450 
Main Phone:  402-559-6430 
Main Fax:  402-559-5737 
Website:  http://www.unmc.edu/mmi 

Center for Disabilities 
Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota 
Department of Pediatrics 
1400 West 22nd Street 
Sioux Falls, SD 57105-1570 
Main Phone:  605-357-1439 
Toll Free Number:  800-658-3080 
Main Fax:  605-357-1438 
TTY:  800-658-3080 
Website:  http://www.usd.edu/cd/sdlend/

TIPS for Kids 
University of Missouri
Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders
205 Portland Street
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-0757
Fax: 573-884-1151
Main Email:  [email protected] 
Website:  http://www.tips4kids.org/ 
Website 2:  http://www.ihd.umkc.edu/ProjectProfiles/6-LEND.pdf

Center for Child Health and Development 
University of Kansas Medical Center 
3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Mail Stop 4003 
Kansas City, KS 66160-7340 
Main Phone:  913-588-5900 
Main Fax:  913-588-5916 
Website:  http://www.kumc.edu/cchd