LEND Boston

The LEND program at Boston Children's Hospital is in its second year of a five-year award. We offer interdisciplinary training to a new cohort of LEND fellows each year. We sponsor 20 - 25 Fellows representing 14 disciplines as well as those with family/lived experience of disability. Fellows participate in a series of didactic seminars and courses each Friday from September through May. Course work focuses on interdisciplinary evaluations, Life Course perspective and public health, cultural humility and anti-racism, family-centered care and the medical home. Additional seminars are devoted to clinical discussions, evidence-based research, Autism Spectrum Disorder, management/conflict resolution, and disability policy.

Fellows participate in community visits to families (one visit per semester, in person or on zoom). Most fellows affiliate with a community-based organization (CBO) that offer services to diverse populations throughout the Boston area. These include the Haitian-American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI), Somali Development Center, Family Nurturing, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education, Somali Parent Advocacy Center for Education (SPACE), Children's Communication Center/Beverly School for the Deaf, Foundación Cambiando El Mundo De Personas Con Discapacidad (CEMDPCD), and Mass Act Early. This year, with placements in our Autism Spectrum Center and Zander Translational Neuroscience Center/Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Center, we have added two new opportunities for Fellows to participate in the movement to create a more Autism-Friendly Hospital at Boston Children’s and to provide input into how research on intellectual and developmental disability is conducted and communicated. Fellows additionally participate as discussants in hosting Title V program directors.

Other fellows who are Pediatric Audiology Externs, Developmental Behavioral Pediatric (DBP) Fellows, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) Fellows, postdoctoral psychology fellows, and occupational and physical therapy (OT/PT) residents focus much of their attention on their clinical work. Non-clinical fellows also have the opportunity to observe multidisciplinary assessment clinics at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Near the end of the year (usually in March), fellows go to Washington DC for the annual Disability Policy Seminar that includes visits to Capitol Hill with their elected Representatives and Senators. The end-of-year convocation will be in May 2023.

2022-2023 LEND Fellows

Lend Fellows for 2021-22

Top row: Madalyn Anderson, Yacine Fall, Cynthia Laine, Ella Clifford, Ashlee Folkes, Rachael McKinnon
2nd row: Julia Berg, Sarah Farmer, Haley Leishman, Kevin Corkran-Itagaki, Izabela Jamsek, Laura Murphy
3rd row: Michael Blake, Elizabeth Foley, Natalie Lilie, Teresa DeNiro, James Johnson III, Jesika Smith
4th row: Elaine Smyth, Brandon Tross, Dorothy Zirkle


Seeking Applications for Self-Advocate Fellowship

The LEND Program is seeking a self-advocate with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to take part in a fellowship starting this September.

Dr. Kerim Munir leads Autism Forum at World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH)

Munir and Helm in Qatar

David Helm, Muhammad Waqar Azeem, Kerim Munir in Doha, Qatar

WISH report

WISH Summit Report

Kerim Munir, MD, along with David Helm, PhD, Tara Lavelle, PhD (former fellow with Dr. Munir) and Muhammad Waqar Azeem, MD (former LEND fellow and student of Dr. Munir) conducted extensive research interviewing over 25 leaders in Autism from over a dozen countries about developing a framework to begin to meet the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. The report was presented before 1,400 delegates at the World Innovation Summit for Health: A Healthier World Through Global Collaboration in Doha, Qatar representing over 25 countries. (Conference report: Autism: A Global Framework for Action.) Posters from this work were presented at IMFAR, Autism CARES, and AUCD conferences and a chapter will appear later this year in the Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders.