NH-ME LEND Selected for MCH Diversity & Health Equity Collaborative

The New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH-ME LEND) Program was recently selected to participate in the 2017 Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative, supported by the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau, Division of MCH Workforce Development.

Alan Kurtz, Susan Russell and Betsy Humphreys in front of the historic 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, ALThe Division of MCH Workforce Development provides national leadership and direction in educating and training future leaders in maternal and child health. Special emphasis is placed on the development and implementation of interprofessional, family-centered, community-based and culturally competent systems of care across the entire life course.

The 2017 Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative will facilitate the sharing and use of information to more effectively address diversity and health equity within MCH training programs. Through participation in the 2017 Collaborative, the NH-ME LEND will develop and implement new recruitment strategies to increase the numbers of racially and ethnically diverse long-term LEND trainees at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the University of Maine (UMaine). This will be achieved through the development of graduate and undergraduate “pipelines” at both universities through partnerships with the following: Graduate School Admissions’ offices; directors of federally-funded TRIO Programs that assist low-income individuals and first generation college students (for mentorship and recruitment of undergraduate students into graduate programs in LEND-related disciplines); and directors and faculty of multicultural and diversity programs (i.e., Native American Studies, Interdisciplinary Disability Studies, Women’s Studies, etc.). The UNH-UMaine partnership will result in the development of a Diversity & Health Equity track at both universities.

Core members of the NH-ME LEND team include Betsy Humphreys, Ph.D., Interdisciplinary Training Director, University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability; Susan Russell, M.S., Associate Director, University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies; and Alan Kurtz, Ph.D., Coordinator of Education and Autism Initiatives, University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (pictured in the photo above).

The NH-ME LEND will be joined in the 2017 Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative by programs from Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin.

2017 Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative.2017 Diversity & Health Equity Peer Learning Collaborative (courtesy of UAB)

A kick-off face-to-face meeting was held on February 8-9, 2017 at the University of Alabama at  Birmingham (UAB). Throughout the course of the Collaborative (January-June 2017), team members will participate in regular webinars, as well as web-based team sharing opportunities with Federal staff and facilitators. All Collaborative participants will be part of an online Community of Practice that will serve as a discussion forum and repository of MCH and diversity-related resources and tools.