MCH LEND Program


In Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific Region, health needs are reported in prevention, primary health care, early identification, diagnosis, specialized health care, early intervention, and coordination of health care systems for children with disabilities and family members. Leadership is essential to develop programs based on principles of family-centeredness, cultural competence, coordination, and comprehensiveness.


Funded under the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Hawaii MCH LEND prepares health professionals for leadership roles to improve supports and services for children with special health needs and their family members. Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) are children with disabilities or those at risk of neurodevelopmental delays, including intellectual and developmental disabilities (formerly known as mental retardation), multiple handicaps, and other chronic illnesses and/or health conditions. The Hawaiʻi MCH LEND Program is a part of a National Network of maternal-child health leadership education training programs in neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Each year, a minimum of 15 student participants are competitively selected from among University graduate students and health care practitioners in the field. Students participate in a year-long leadership education program as an Academic Trainee or post-degree Community Trainee. Academic Trainees are advance standing, matriculated graduate students in the health disciplines. Academic trainees are expected to complete intensive training which includes a minimum commitment of 300 hours. Community Trainees are post-graduate health professionals in health disciplines. Community trainees engage in an individualized program of training, for a total of 150 hours. All trainees attend seminar sessions and engage in individual professional development under the supervision of a faculty mentor.