Youth and Families
Operation Better Start (OBS) is nationally recognized for its nutrition, health, and fitness program serving young people from Berkshire county and surrounding areas. OBS provides services to thousands of children and their families through medical nutrition therapy, clinical counseling, school and community based health projects, and fitness programs.
Operation Better Start holds the distinction of being one of the 14 Founding Intensive Community sites in the National Institutes of Health WE Can! initiative (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition). To this date, there are over 306 sites in the United States , Canada , Nigeria , the Northern Mariana Islands, the Philippines , and Puerto Rico with We Can! programs in their communities.
At the core of the program is OBS onsite clinical staff. In addition to Registered Nurses, OBS provides the services of Registered and Licensed Dietitians with advanced certifications in fitness and national certifications in adult and adolescent weight management. The OBS Nurse Practitioner is the leader of the Health and Medical Nutrition Therapy team. The NP works directly with the RD and the family to generate a comprehensive treatment plan with individualized, achievable goals for each client that is referred into the program.
Operation Better Start’s Registered Nurses provide personalized health education and support for perinatal women. These services allow for comprehensive coordination of care, and are provided directly in the Berkshire North WIC offices. The nurses provide individualized case management, and offer linkages into a coordinated network of health services which include: prenatal care, childbirth education, perinatal education, specialized nutrition services and food vouchers, maternal and child health assessment, supervision and support of parenting skills, smoking cessation services, access to health care, dental services, and behavioral health services.
Operation Better Start serves as a community partner with the Center for Ecological Technology SPROUT, Berkshire OB/GYN and WIC in the Healthy Beginnings Program, which provides education for pregnant women on the impact of environmental exposures on perinatal health. The Healthy Beginning partnership ensures that women receive science –based, consistent and helpful information on protecting their babies from environmental health risks from the first trimester through birth.