Beginning in Fall 2021, Virginia LEND is very pleased to formalize our ongoing relationship with Longwood University. Longwood faculty have been collaborating with Va-LEND for several years, and we are thrilled to expand on those existing relationships with the addition of new faculty, and students from new disciplines. This is an important step as Va-LEND seeks to prepare professionals and advocates to serve Virginians with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families from across the Commonwealth.
Two faculty members at Longwood University, Dr. Lissa Power- deFur (Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders and Interim Dean of the College of Education and Human Services) and Dr. Christine Eubanks (Clinical Audiologist) have been with Va-LEND for many years, serving as the speech and language pathology and audiology faculty members. With the new partnership, Dr. Erin Wallace (Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders), joined the team. Erin was a Va-LEND trainee, graduating with the 2020 cohort. The Longwood faculty are looking forward to sharing the Va-LEND experience with their students, colleagues, and the entire Lancer community.
Two Longwood University students will participate in each Va-LEND cohort. Students from the disciplines of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Education, Special Education, and Counseling are eligible. Their participation will focus on leadership, interprofessional collaboration, and family-centered models of care. Additionally, they will receive invaluable experiences working with a variety of professionals through research, seminars, and clinics. We look forward to seeing how Longwood students will be applying the leadership skills they gather from their time in Va-LEND throughout their careers.
Early Childhood Partnerships
What is ECP?
The Early Childhood Partnerships (ECP) Collaborative represents a newly formed and innovative Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) partnership for integrated education and training among complementary UCEED and LEND programs (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) across five LEND sites.
Who are the ECP Partners?
The LEND & UCEED Centers at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Connecticut, Virginia Commonwealth University, Georgetown University & Children’s Hospital National Medical Center are the ECP Partners.
These interdisciplinary professionals comprise the five site, interdisciplinary leadership team for Early Childhood Partnerships (ECP):
- Stefano J Bagnato, Ed., NCSP
Professor of Psychology & Pediatrics
LEND, University of Pittsburgh Schools of Education & Medicine
- Tracy Larson, Ed.D., NCSP
Director, HealthyCHILD program
Adjunct Faculty, LEND Center
Adjunct Faculty, School of Education
Office of Child Development
LEND, University of Pittsburgh
- Jackie Robinson Brock, MSW
Program Specialist in Early Childhood and Health
Partnership for People with Disabilities
LEND & UCEDD at the Virginia Commonwealth University
- Mary Beth Bruder, Ph.D.
LEND & UCEDD at the University of Connecticut Health Center
- Pamala Trivedi, Ph.D., NCSP
LEND Georgetown University
- Ellen Sullivan, BA
LEND Georgetown University
- Annie Inge, Ph.D.
LEND Children’s Hospital National Medical Center (CHNMC)
What Is the Mission of ECP?
ECP is a unique 5 site partnership that will expand the collaborative reach and effect of interdisciplinary leadership training in neurodevelopmental disabilities; ECP will advance interdisciplinary practices for young children with disabilities through integrated specialty training in early childhood intervention philosophy, purposes, and professional practices.
A unified and driving force for Early Childhood Partnerships (ECP) is the common interests of the leadership team in contributing knowledge and expertise to important and pressing issues surrounding interdisciplinary professional standards and “best practice” approaches in the larger field of early childhood intervention for interdisciplinary professionals, families and young children (0-8 years of age) who are at developmental risk (due to poverty and ACE), and/or with neurodevelopmental disabilities, behavioral and mental health disorders, and chronic medical conditions.
With this multi-site LEND collaboration, ECP will enable LEND trainees at all sites to engage in virtual and on-site interdisciplinary leadership activities (e.g. research, advocacy, and service). The following central issues emphasize interdisciplinary teamwork issues that have been highlighted by the Act 619 Coordinators Group in the US Department of Education as urgent priorities:
- “Best practices” in interdisciplinary teamwork among parents and professionals for young children (0-8 years).
- Racial equity and inclusion for services and supports.
- Family engagement on interdisciplinary teams for young children.
- Equity for remote and in-vivo access for assessments for eligibility determination and progress monitoring.
- Equity for remote and in-vivo instruction, intervention, and access to the early childhood environments.
- Infusion of mental/behavioral health supports into community early childhood education and intervention settings.
What Is the Main Activity of ECP?
Each LEND/UCEED Center has their own unique set of activities and requirements for their own trainees in the neurodevelopmental disabilities field.
- ECP offers a unique integration of the education and training component of all the LEND programs with a concentration in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI).
- ECP offers a joint Zoom-based seminar series focused on crucial ECI issues, practices, and links between public policy and advocacy.
- ECP seminars are jointly taught and facilitated by faculty and staff from the 5 regional center partners and their teams.
- ECP seminars are accessible to trainees from each of the partner centers and select community partners, including parents.
- ECP specialty seminars are offered 12 times throughout the academic year.
- ECP specialty seminars will be recorded and accessible to those individuals with the Zoom link.
The Early Childhood Partnerships (ECP) initiative represents a newly-formed and innovative early childhood intervention (ECI) collaboration among the University of Connecticut UCEDD & LEND, the LEND Center at the University of Pittsburgh with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the Virginia Commonwealth University UCEDD & LEND. This 3-state LEND partnership will expand the collaborative reach and effect of leadership training for all three LEND partners, in order to advance interdisciplinary practices for young children with disabilities through community-level practice-based evidence gathered on pressing “best practice” issues. The mission of the partnership is to contribute to knowledge and expertise for trainees related to pressing issues surrounding interdisciplinary professional standards and “best practice” approaches in the larger field of early childhood intervention for interdisciplinary professionals, families and young children (0-8 years of age) who are at developmental risk (due to poverty and Adverse Childhood Events), and/or with neurodevelopmental disabilities, behavioral and mental health disorders, and chronic medical conditions.
The Commonwealth Collaborations initiative is a partnership between the Virginia Commonwealth (Va-LEND) LEND and UCEDD program and LEND-Pitt. This project's goal is to increase interprofessional awareness around disability awareness, family and person centered practices, and to allow trainees opportunities to network with trainees and faculty from a different university. This is done through a series of interactive virtual events over the course of the year.