LEND Fellowship

  • About the LEND Fellowship 

    The LEND program is supported by a grant from the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Training options include:

    Funded or unfunded long-term positions

    Long term trainees are formally registered as LEND fellows. By completion of their training, they will have 300 or more contact hours and will have completed the entire LEND curriculum (clinical and didactic). These criteria apply regardless of LEND funding.

    For example, First-Year Pediatric Fellows sometimes receive funding from Children's Hospital rather than LEND. They are still considered LEND trainees, as long as they participate in the LEND curriculum throughout the course of the fellowship year. Similarly, other Disciplines may have one or more of their trainees participate in LEND on an unfunded basis.

    All trainees are required to fulfill all program obligations within coursework, community, family and research components throughout the training year

    The long-term LEND Fellowship involves a Core Curriculum with didactic courses and experiential activities aimed to promote leadership development.  Courses include a comprehensive overview of developmental disabilities, an overview of autism spectrum disorders, distinctive family issues, public policy, interdisciplinary case conferences, a research course and more. Experiential training components include the Community Collaboration and Advocacy Program, Family Collaboration Program, and a Mentored Research Project.

    Within each experiential program, LEND fellows can select from a range of options in which they participate. For example, Community Collaboration projects range from those focused on youth with chronic health or developmental conditions’ transition to adulthood; working with maternal-child homeless shelters, providing consultation to an Early Head Start program or working to improve access to healthcare for children placed in foster care.

    Family Collaboration experiences might involve home visits with a family of a child with an acquired brain injury or genetic condition, involvement with a parent support group, or working with parent advocates. LEND fellows can develop their own research project or work with LEND faculty on a project. Based on these choices, each LEND fellow develops an Individualized Training Plan (ITP) with their own discipline director and a LEND Mentor to fulfill LEND requirements

    Medium-term positions

    Intermediate trainees may or may not be funded by LEND. By completion of their training, these fellows will have between 150 and 299 contact hours, and may not have completed the entire LEND curriculum (clinical and didactic).

    Short-term positions

    Short term trainees may or may not be funded by LEND. By completion of their training, these fellows will have between 40 and 149 contact hours and most likely will not have completed the entire LEND curriculum.

    Trainees meeting this description can be further categorized as trainees from other institutions who rotate through one of the LEND Core Disciplines:

    • Physical and Occupational Therapy students' one-month rotation through these respective departments
    • Psychology trainees participating in the Pediatric School Psychology Program
    • Medical residents completing the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics rotation

    To be eligible for funding support, the candidate must be a U.S. citizen or holder of a permanent visa, and not currently receiving federal funding support from any other source.

  • Training requirements

    LEND Fellows develop an Individualized Training Plan with their discipline preceptor and their LEND Mentor, and document evidence of achievement of training objectives. This commitment requires that the fellow spend a minimum of 6-8 hours per week participating in LEND related activities (attendance at Core Curriculum courses is included within this time frame):

    • Attend weekly classes and complete course assignments including:
      • Observe two days of evaluations at the LEND Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) assessment clinic
      • If in a clinical role, conduct ASD screening as part of regular clinical care
    • Fulfill Community Collaboration and Advocacy Program responsibilities:
    • Complete a community Project
    • Complete an advocacy experience
    • Complete a Family Collaboration experience
    • Complete CITI Human Subjects Research Course Curriculum modules on Social/Behavioral Research
    • Complete a Research Leadership Project
    • Produce a poster or give an oral presentation at the LEND Research Symposium and Poster Day in May.
    • Fulfill Research Program Responsibilities
  • Core curriculum

    The following topics are addressed in courses offered as seminars, didactic presentations and case-based interactive learning methods:

    • Overview of Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities
    • Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Leadership Skills: Interpersonal Influence and Conflict Resolution
    • Interdisciplinary Team Dynamics & Interdisciplinary Case Conferences
    • Public Policy and Children with Special Needs
    • Family-Professional Collaboration
    • Research in Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Related Conditions
    • Healthcare Administration and Children with Special Needs
    • Foundations for Culturally Competent Care
    • Feeding Disorders in Infants and Young Children
    • Assistive Technology

    The LEND Faculty represents a broad range of healthcare professions and includes members with appointments in the University of Pennsylvania and its Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Social Work, and Nursing, and Education, as well as individuals with leadership roles within The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Parents of children with neurodevelopment disabilities and related disorders, and adults with these conditions play an active role in the LEND program, serving as faculty and mentors to ensure fellows’ understanding of family-centered, culturally competent models of service provision. Guest speakers from The Disabilities Rights Network, the The Education Law Center of Pennsylvania, the Institute on Disabilities of Temple University and other community-based organizations present regularly.

  • Individualized Training Plan (ITP)

    At the beginning of the fellowship year, each fellow develops an Individualized Training Plan in conjunction with his or her discipline preceptor and their LEND Mentor. LEND Mentors include the LEND Director (Nathan Blum, M.D.), Associate Director (Judith Silver, Ph.D.) or, for LEND fellows on the Autism Track, the LEND Director of Autism Training (Judith Miller, Ph.D.). The ITP addresses LEND program goals and indicates how each fellow will complete fellowship requirements based on the range of options offered by the LEND curriculum. Each fellow’s ITP is reviewed and approved by the LEND Curriculum Committee. Over the course of the training year the fellow is expected to meet regularly with the LEND Mentor to discuss progress in achieving their goals. Progress is also reviewed and evaluated quarterly by the Curriculum Committee, with Progress Reports sent to the fellow, Discipline Director, and faculty Research Mentor.

  • How to apply

    Application procedures differ by discipline. Please see below for application instructions for each discipline.

    Applications are accepted between September and May of each year, and training starts in July.

    Audiology

    Qualifications

    • Currently enrolled in a Clinical Doctorate (AuD) program in Audiology, with all requirements met for the degree with the exception of the fourth year externship.
    • High level of skill in various audiological assessment and treatment procedures pertaining to the pediatric population.
    • Fundamental research skills including a general understanding of research methodology, design, and statistics.

    Application process

    Applications are accepted starting in September.

    Please submit the following materials to Joy Peterson, AuD, CCC-A, petersonj@email.chop.edu:

    Dentistry

    LEND fellows can be enrolled in graduate training at the Master's level or above.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to LENDInfo@email.chop.edu:

    Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

    Pediatricians wishing to participate in the LEND program as long-term trainees must apply for a position in the three-year Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For more information on this fellowship program and to apply, please visit the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship website.

    Family Member

    Potential applicants must be a parent of a child with a neurodevelopmental and/or related disability.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to Amy Kratchman, Family Consultant, LEND Family Collaboration, kratchmana@email.chop.edu:

    • Three letters of reference
    • Letter of interest

    Genetic Counseling

    Genetic Counseling LEND Fellows must be students of Arcadia University’s Genetic Counseling Master's program. To find more information on Program-Specific Admission Requirements, please visit Arcadia University’s website or contact Kathleen D. Valverde, MS, CGC, valverdk@arcadia.edu.

    Healthcare Administration

    LEND fellows can be enrolled in graduate training at the Master's level or above.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to LENDInfo@email.chop.edu:

    Nursing

    Ideal candidates for the nursing fellowship position are usually those who have completed a master's program in pediatric or family nursing or are post-masters or doctoral students who are interested in the fellowship as a way to develop specialization in working with children with developmental disabilities and chronic health conditions. Due to requirements of most nursing master's programs (which are full-time and include clinical rotations under the direction of a faculty supervisor), nurses are usually unable to do the fellowship as part of their master's degree program. Candidates are recruited from local graduate-level nursing programs including:

    • University of Pennsylvania
    • Drexel University
    • Widener University
    • University of Delaware

    Nursing fellows make a significant contribution to the LEND team by bringing their clinical skills in nursing assessment (physical and psychosocial) as well expertise in clinical critical thinking, which is a major part of their education. They can also offer expertise in patient-family education and care coordination that is also an integral part of their graduate training.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to Desirée Fleck, PhD, CRNP, FLECKD@email.chop.edu:

    Nutrition

    Positions for LEND candidates in the discipline of nutrition are available at two educational levels:

    • Pre-doctoral with a master's degree in nutrition or highly related field
    • Post-doctoral with a PhD in nutrition or highly related field

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to Virginia Stallings, MD, stallingsv@email.chop.edu:

    Candidates may be accepted any time during the year; however, July start dates are desirable. Positions are offered for one year, with the possibility of a one-year renewal. Rarely, a candidate will be considered for a training period of less than one year.

    Occupational Therapy

    The Occupational Therapy Department advertises for its LEND Fellows in a variety of ways. Our goal is to search for an Occupational Therapist who has an interest in continued learning and research in a variety of areas within Occupational Therapy and related fields. Frequently, these OT LEND fellows are considered an OT I, recently out of school. However, we do consider Occupational Therapists who have more experience if they are interested in the LEND position to further enhance their clinical and professional growth and development.

    The OT LEND fellow has 23 percent of his/her time devoted to the LEND program and 77 percent of his/her time devoted to the Occupational Therapy department as a treating therapist. We offer positions in a variety of areas, including outpatient, acute care and rehabilitation based on the needs of the Occupational Therapy Department, the LEND program and the applicants strengths and interests.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to Julie Buxton, MS, OTR/L, CBIST, BUXTON@email.chop.edu:

    Physical Therapy

    Physical Therapists wishing to participate in the LEND program as long-term trainees must apply for a position in the one-year Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For more Information on this residency program, please see the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency Program page.

    Psychology

    Pre-doctoral psychology candidates wishing to participate in the LEND program as long-term trainees must apply for a position in the one-year predoctoral Psychology Internship Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

    Post-doctoral psychology candidates wishing to participate in the LEND program as long-term trainees are limited to those individuals accepted into a post-doctoral psychology fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with involvement in the LEND Program considered on an individual basis.

    Social Work

    LEND fellows can be enrolled in graduate training at the Master's level or above.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to Symme Trachtenberg, MSW, LSW, Trachtenberg@email.chop.edu:

    Special Education

    Special Education LEND Fellows must be students of Temple University’s Special Education Program. To find more information on program-specific admission requirements, please visit Temple's website or contact Julie Kessler at jkessler@temple.edu.

    Speech-Language Pathology

    Applicants must have completed a Master's degree program in Speech-Language Pathology and be eligible to begin the ASHA Clinical Fellowship.
    The Speech Lend Fellow has 23 percent of his/her time devoted to LEND and 77 percent devoted to the Speech Language Department.

    Application process

    Please submit the following materials to Jennifer Burstein, MA, CCC/SLP, Burstein@email.chop.edu:

    • Three letters of reference
    • Curriculum vitae (CV)

    A preliminary interview is conducted in person or by phone to establish interests and qualifications. After the interview, successful candidates will receive the official LEND application forms. Please submit the completed forms and letters of recommendation to:

    LEND Program
    3550 Market St.
    Child Development
    3rd Floor, Room 3033B
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Reviewed on June 20, 2014