Fun Fact #27
The Boggs Center's L eadership E ducation in N eurodevelopmental and Related D isabilities (LEND) training program is part of a national network of LEND programs. NJLEND prepares graduate level health and allied health trainees to provide high quality, interdisciplinary, family centered, culturally competent care addressing the complex needs of families with children and youth with special health care needs. 

SPAN is in its second year of a unique collaboration with NJLEND in which it provides Mentor Families for graduate students in Dentistry, Nursing, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Nutrition, Psychology, and Social Work. The family mentors invite these students to join them and their children at various appointments; this gives the students a chance to experience first-hand the challenges that such routine events as a doctor's appointment, a therapy session, or even a haircut may pose for kids with disabilities and/or special health care needs.
SPAN actively recruits LEND Family Trainees and Mentor Families, several of whom have been SPAN employees. Jeannette Mejias, Deepa Srinivasavaradan, and Mercedes Rosa have graduated through the graduate level interdisciplinary training. Also, Nicole Pratt, Jessica Wilson, and Kasey Dudley have been Mentor Families providing the Trainees with the opportunity to understand the impact of having a child with a disability.
SPAN's collaborations impact more than just the children we advocate for. Our work reaches all levels -- and helping medical students learn to better understand the experiences of families is just one step toward increasing our reach and influence. Your donations are as meaningful as these important ventures.

With gratitude,
Diana Autin & Debra Jennings
Co-Executive Directors