Wayne State receives $2.2 million HRSA grant to support neurodevelopmental disabilities leadership education


Six Michigan universities partner to improve the health of children with disabilities

DETROIT - Wayne State University recently received a $2.2 million, five-year grant from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration for the project  "Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Other Related Disabilities (LEND) Maternal Child Health (MCH) Training Program," or MI-LEND.  The purpose of MI-LEND is to improve the health of infants, children and adolescents with disabilities in Michigan by training individuals from diverse disciplines to assume leadership roles in their respective fields and work across disciplines.


MI-LEND is a consortium of six universities including Wayne State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University and University of Michigan-Dearborn; all six universities will contribute faculty and trainees. The Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) at Wayne State leads the consortium with Sharon Milberger, Ph.D., director of DDI, serving as the MI-LEND program director. Jane Turner, M.D., pediatrician and professor at Michigan State University, is co-director. MI-LEND leaders will work in collaboration with members of Michigan's Title V program, including Children's Special Health Care Services, the governor's Autism Council, the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other key statewide disability/advocacy organizations.


MI-LEND will address the complex needs of those with autism and other disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, by increasing the number of graduate, doctoral and postdoctoral students prepared to address their needs. In addition, it will increase the number of providers available to diagnose and treat infants, children and adolescents with disabilities. An important component of MI-LEND is participation of family members and individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities in developing the curriculum and working with trainees to ensure a family-centered approach to care at all levels.


"Expanding the educational opportunities related to the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities for over 181,800 medical and professional students and physicians will help improve the quality of care for these individuals and increase their ability to have self-determined independent lives," said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.  "I am proud to see Michigan's universities working together on advancements in this area and want to congratulate Wayne State and its partners at Central Michigan, Michigan State, University of Michigan, University of Michigan-Dearborn and Western Michigan on receiving this national grant to continue these great efforts."


"This is great news for the state of Michigan, as this will reduce the significant gap between the needs of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and the quantity and quality of services," said Milberger. "Our consortium is excited to work together to expand graduate-level training for a wide variety of professional disciplines and ultimately achieve our shared mission of improving the health of children across our state."


"This is an important program in the Detroit community and throughout Michigan that will improve the health of our youth that have or are at risk for neurodevelopmental and other related disabilities," said Stephen Lanier, vice president for research at Wayne State University. "Wayne State and its collaborative partners will make a tremendous impact on these children and their families by providing this important program that is committed to diversity and equity."

"We are thrilled to work with colleagues across Michigan under the leadership of the DDI to develop a cadre of leaders who will not only have an impact on individual children in their work, but will also improve systems of care for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities," said Keith English, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Human Development at Michigan State University. "MI-LEND brings us a tremendous opportunity to work together to improve outcomes for this very vulnerable population." 


To learn more about the MI-LEND program, contact project manager Ann Carrellas at do9921@wayne.edu or at 313-577-8562.




About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.






Contact info

Julie O'Connor

Director, Research Communications
Phone: 313-577-8845
Email: julie.oconnor@wayne.edu