263423 Academic-community partnerships in rural and frontier communities: Improving services for children with autism and other developmental disabilities in Alaska

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jenny Miller, DrPH MS MPH , Department of Health Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Karen Ward, EdD , Center for Human Development, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Access to health services for children and youth with autism and other developmental disabilities in Alaska is seriously challenged by shortages across the professional workforce. Alaska shares this problem with other rural and frontier states, but the challenges are magnified by the diversity of populations and their wide dispersion across the vast landmass. The Alaska LEND Without Walls (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) aims to improve the health of children who have or are risk for developing disabilities and their families by preparing trainees from nine professional disciplines to assume interdisciplinary leadership roles. With funding from HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau, the University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development has pioneered partnerships with community organizations, family members, the Alaska Title V Agency and multiple community and university stakeholders. The goal is to develop a uniquely Alaskan model with interdisciplinary, community-based, family-centered teams to coordinate leadership training and culturally competent service delivery. The faculty disciplines include: occupational therapy; nursing; social work; psychology; special education; speech-language; psychology; family and public health. We present our experience in the development of community-academic partnerships that promote the Growing Our Own approach. Key elements to reducing health disparities in Alaska entail using telehealth for service delivery, building on existing community services, employing distance delivered education strategies and developing capacity to bring services, personnel, and community and continuing education to local communities.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the value of community and academic partnerships in developing a LEND program in rural and frontier areas 2. Describe key components for an interdisciplinary leadership training program in rural and frontier areas

Keywords: Children With Special Needs, Distance Learning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Training Director for the Alaska LEND Program. My research work has included access to health services among individuals who experience disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.