Poverty and race play a significant role in health disparities and support the need for a LEND program in MN. Children who are younger than 18 years represent 40% of the poor in the US, but only 25% of the total US population (Story, Holt and Sofka, 2002). Efforts to reduce poverty showed some positive signs at the end of the last decade. The proportion of MN children and youth living in poverty dropped from 13% in 1995 to 10% in 2000. MN has many indicators of economic health: It has the fourth highest average family income in the US, one of the highest levels of high school graduation and attainment of higher degrees, one of the lowest poverty rates in the country and is rated among the healthiest states in the nation (Urban Coalition, 2001). However, according to the MCHB health indicators, MN’s social disparities in health are among the highest in the nation and thus are a primary focus of our MN LEND training program.