Pete Gazzillo, MBA, RD, LDN, CPT, Program Director - Pete is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian who holds an MBA with a concentration in healthcare, a degree in Dietetics, and is an IFPA Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Sports Nutritionist. He is the previous chairman for the Massachusetts Board of Licensure for Dietitians and Nutritionists. Pete holds certificates in adult, child, and adolescent weight management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a member of the American Dietetic Association and multiple Dietetic Practice Groups. Pete has been working with the women and children of Berkshire County for over 22 years. He lives in Dalton with his two children.
Cathy Marchetto, RN, BSN, AE-C Clinical Coordinator - Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the University of Vermont, and has over 30 years of experience working with children and adolescents. Cathy works to ensure that all components of the Operation Better Start program are integrated and synchronized, leading to a positive experience for all families involved. Cathy is active in a variety of professional and community service organizations, and holds special expertise in grant- writing and pediatric education as a Certified Asthma Educator. Cathy lives in Pittsfield with her husband and two grown children.
Mark Snowise, MD, Physician Advisor - Dr. Snowise acts as the supervising physician for the OBS Nursing staff and works with the team to develop evidence based practice guidelines for Medical Nutrition Therapy. He attends regular staff meetings and provides clinical oversight. Dr. Snowise completed his family medicine residency in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and his sports medicine fellowship at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. He has integrated a full sports medicine practice into his primary care practice located in Lee, MA. Mark lives in Pittsfield with his wife and three children.
Debora Coons, RN, BS, CDE, Clinical Care Coordinator at Fairview - Deb holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing from UMass of Amherst, MA and is a Certified Diabetes Educator. She has worked in nursing as an RN for over 30 yrs. with 20 yrs. experience in acute care nursing and 13 years in outpatient nursing, health education and most recently, over the past five years, in diabetes education. The majority of her career has involved nursing leadership roles including roles as a charge nurse, team leader, occupational health manager and director, diabetes supervisor, and her present role as clinical care coordinator. Deb lives in Lanesboro, MA with her husband, three grown children, and one grandson.
Joan Johnston MS, APRN- BC, AEC - Joan has practiced as a family nurse practitioner in the pediatric arena for over 18 years. She has over 42 years of professional experience in a variety of roles such as clinician, educator, administrator, grants writer, and consultant. In collaboration with primary care providers and other multidisciplinary health team members, Joan contributes to the assessment and management of Medical Nutrition Therapy diagnoses for OBS clients and their families. Joan has two grown children and lives in Dalton with her husband.
Lorie Harrington RN, BSN- Lorie currently serves as the Health and Safety Supervisor at Berkshire County Head Start through collaboration with Operation Better Start. She is responsible for the oversight of the health and safety content area that includes; formulation of health care plans for children with chronic illnesses, staff education/training, updating and implementing emergency planning for Head Start sites, wellness education for parents ,ongoing monitoring for state and federal licensing, oversight of nutrition services and transportation services. During the school year Lorie is the Coordinator for Pittsfield Partnership for School Dental Care with the BMC Dental Clinic, CMOS, and Tufts Dental Program. Lorie has over 25 years of experience working with women, children and families.
Lisa Kuczarski, RD, LDN - Lisa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who brings with her 30 years of expertise in managing nutritional care for both pediatric and adult patients. She has been with Operation Better Start for over 13 years. Lisa holds a certificate in child and adolescent weight management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition, she is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and many of its specialty practice groups. Prior to her years at OBS, Lisa was the Nutrition Coordinator for Kaiser Permanente's Northeast Division, and also functioned as Chief Clinical Dietitian/District Dietitian for Marriott Corporation. She is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals Dietetic Internship and holds a B.S. in Nutritional Science from the University of Rhode Island. Lisa has a grown son and lives in Pittsfield with her husband. When she isn’t at OBS, Lisa can be found on the courts playing competitive tennis.
Jennifer Wojtkowski, RD, LDN, CPT - Jennifer has a Bachelor's degree both in Nutrition Science and Psychology. She holds a certificate in child and adolescent weight management through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jennifer received her certification as a fitness instructor through Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, as well as her personal trainer certification through Fittour. Jennifer works with children and families seen in the Operation Better Start program, providing them with nutrition counseling, and education. She also serves as part of the training team in the OBS Fitness Program at Berkshire Nautilus. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association. Jennifer lives in Lanesboro and enjoys spending time with her family and doing outdoor activities.
Melinda Couture RD, LDN - Melinda is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Melinda has an undergraduate degree in dietetics from the University of Massachusetts, and completed her Dietetic Internship at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In addition she is currently an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Melinda has experience in providing nutrition counseling for all age groups and works with children and families in the Operation Better Start program to improve their health and lifestyle. She has appeared on News 22’s Mass Appeal morning show as a guest Registered Dietitian. In her youth and into college Melinda was a competitive elite gymnast. She now enjoys Latin style dancing and has experience teaching gymnastics and dance, including Zumba. Melinda loves the outdoors and practicing yoga and brings the yoga philosophy of the body mind and soul connection into her counseling approach.
Robert Hoechster RD, LDN – Robert provides nutritional care for Operation Better Start at Fairview Hospital. Robert has 16 years of professional experience in the nutrition field and has previously been on staff at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Canyon Ranch, The Nutrition Center, Berkshire Meadows and New Age Spa. His focus is on empowering children and adults to live healthier lives through nutrition, cooking skills, mindful eating, stress reduction and exercise. He lives with his wife and two young daughters in North Egremont and enjoys rock climbing, mountaineering and vegetable gardening.
Linda Miller, Program Assistant - Linda provides support to the multidisciplinary team in her role as program assistant. She has worked at Berkshire Health Systems for over 18 years and brings her 30+ years of secretarial experience to this busy clinical practice. Linda lives in Dalton. For more information on Operation Better Start call Linda at 413-445-9243.