Three graduate students from the School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP) have been awarded positions in the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD)’s LEND program (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities). Incoming Dr.P.H. student, Kerry Watson, M.P.H. '17, left, and second-year speech-language pathology students, Shannon Stocks, center, and Stacey Ramirez, right, will join the LEND training program this fall. The LEND program at WIHD is a two-semester interdisciplinary leadership training program funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the federal government at 52 universities around the country. Program trainees include graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from health and education disciplines, self-advocates, and family members of children and adults with disabilities who want to develop knowledge and skills to take a leadership role working with and on behalf of children with disabilities and other special health care needs and their families.
Ms. Watson, who graduated from NYMC’s M.P.H. program this past May, has always been passionate about pediatric care, especially care for its vulnerable populations. Ms. Watson will be NYMC’s first Dr.P.H. student to participate in LEND. As a Dr.P.H.-LEND trained professional, she wants to focus her future efforts on administration and research for the transformation of health care services into pediatric family-centered medical homes.
Ms. Stocks recently graduated with Latin honors from Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, having studied speech-language and hearing sciences. She applied to the LEND training program because of “my passion for working with children and I find real joy in my work.” Through LEND, Ms. Stocks anticipates learning how to advocate on behalf of children with special health care needs in a collaborative setting, as well as expand upon her research and leadership competencies.
Ms. Ramirez received a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Syracuse University. Her goal is to implement learned skills in LEND in the future, not only advocate for families and children with special needs, but also “to bring attention to the quality of health and education of American Indian populations on reservations, and to disparities in quality between these populations and others in the United States.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming our group of 2017-2018 LEND trainees, especially our New York Medical College participants,” said Karen Edwards, M.D., M.P.H. ’91, LEND program director and vice president for education, training and research and the co-UCEDD director at WIHD, and professor of practice in the School of Health Sciences and Practice, adjunct associate professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine.
The LEND program provides stipends to trainees who participate in the 320-hour program on Thursdays from September to May. LEND is based on core values of cultural competence, family-centered practice, life course perspective, interdisciplinary approach and evidence-based practice.