Emerging Practice

LEND Trainees as Family Navigators

State/Jurisdiction: Tennessee
Setting: Clinical
Population: CYSHCN Medical & Public Health Professionals
Topic Area: Access to Quality Healthcare Family & Youth Engagement Care Coordination
NPMs: NPM 11: Medical Home

The "LEND Trainees as Family Navigators" program is a structured introduction to family navigation for future professionals, that connects families of young children with ASD to community care while promoting compassion, awareness, and understanding of family experience for care providers. Our “LEND Trainees as Family Navigators” program emerged from the need for a shared care coordination experience for LEND trainees spread across eight institutions and two cities. LEND long-term trainees were matched with families that had received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from affiliated providers within the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Center for Child Development. The goal was twofold: to provide families with needed assistance in navigating complex health care and associated systems, while also providing LEND trainees the opportunity to experience care navigation and become familiar with health care systems, social determinants of health, and community services. Our model attempts to increase family knowledge of these groups and services, while also providing a hands-on practicum experience to the future interdisciplinary providers who might one day care for these families. This emerging practice is a framework through which other LEND sites could help trainees understand not only what resources are available, but also give opportunities for direct contact and conversations with families to deepen their understanding of family experiences during this critical post-diagnostic window.

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Implementation Handout
Care Navigation Introduction
Care Navigation

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders/Tennessee Cares Network at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nina Harris

Practice Website