University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Vermont Interdisciplinary Leadership Education for Health Professionals; Vermont's LEND Program

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About Us

photo of Stephen Contompasis, MD

Message from the Director

The Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities aims to prepare leaders across the health professions to serve children with special health needs and their families.

Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) programs provide long-term, graduate level interdisciplinary training as well as interdisciplinary services and care. The purpose of the LEND training program is to improve the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities. They accomplish this by preparing trainees from diverse professional disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and by insuring high levels of interdisciplinary clinical competence.

Stephen H. Contompasis, M.D.
Program Director

Our Mission


We envision a state in which all children with special health care needs have medical homes, and coordinated services enabling them to be healthy, included in their communities and successful across their life course.
VT LEND provides a 9 month graduate level interdisciplinary training to health professionals focused on the following competencies:

  • Family-centered care: meaningful family involvement in services, teaching and program development.
  • Interdisciplinary collaborative teaming: building collaborative relationships among families, professionals and community service providers.
  • Cultural competence: engaging in culturally inclusive practice
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders: knowledge and skill development in serving children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities; promoting optimal health, education and participation in their communities.
  • Leadership: developing trust, communicating vision and a context of empowerment with others toward effective action and systems change.

Directly relating to the purpose of MCHB LEND programs, VT LEND's overall mission is to improve the health status of infants, children, and adolescents with or at risk for, neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, and their families through the development of culturally competent, family-centered, community-based, interdisciplinary leadership professionals

Diversity Mission

The VT LEND Program faculty and staff seeks to promote awareness of, accessibility to, and participation in all components of the VT LEND program for individuals from diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds and underrepresented groups, including those with disabilities and their families.

We see diversity not as a theoretical construct, but a living reflection of everyone in the human family. Diversity embodies a multitude of characteristics that span all dimensions of individual and societal experiences. It acknowledges the richness of our differences in a way that unites and celebrates our unique qualities.  Diversity and academic/professional excellence are inseparable and commitment to honor distinctiveness within an inclusive community is critical. Dimensions of diversity include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Age
  • Economic status
  • Education
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Gender Identity or Expression
  • Geographical location
  • Health status
  • Language
  • Learning differences
  • Nation of origin
  • Physical, cognitive, and emotional ability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Spirituality

This web site is partially supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau through grant number T73MC00039.

Last modified May 01 2015 11:51 AM