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Connect for Health Story

Connect for Health is a Mass General for Children program designed to support children, their families, and health professionals in making health behavior and lifestyle changes.

Connect for Health provides families with:
  • Educational handouts
  • Videos
  • Community resources
Connect for Health provides resources to clinicians and other health professionals as they partner with families, including: 
  • Electronic Health Record (EHR) enhancements to support best practices in clinical care.
  • Trainings and resources to support the delivery of evidence-based care.

Resources for Families

Health Behavior and Lifestyle Change Resources

Connect for Health has resources available to support your family in making healthy behavior changes with your child. Educational handouts provide information and tips on how to make changes.

Setting Behavioral Change Goals With Your Child

It’s important to set goals with your child when making changes. Examples are: 

  • Setting a consistent sleep routine  
  • Limiting screen time 
  • Making healthy drink choices 
  • Establishing a balanced nutrition plan 
  • Being active 
  • Lowering stress 

Make small changes first and build up towards the goal. With your child, think about: 

  • What can your family do to work towards the goal? 
  • What or who can help your family with this goal? 
  • What or who could make it more difficult to make this change? What can you do to avoid that? 

Use a calendar to keep track of the days that your child is meeting the goal.  

Virtual Resources for Families

  • ChopChop Magazine online is full of fun, healthy recipes for parents and kids to make together.
  • StopBullying.gov website provides information on how to identify bullying and how to address it. 
  • Online Resources to Support Healthy Behaviors handout offers tips and support for families in making healthy behavior changes. Includes options for physical activity, meal prep, sleep and self-care for kids. [English] [Spanish

Community Resources for Families

There are places in your community that can support your family in making healthy changes. Some examples of areas your community may be able to help include: 

  • Being active (for example, a YMCA, community center, or Boys & Girls club) 
  • Getting foods (for example, farmers markets, food pantry, or WIC Nutrition Office) 
  • Assistance with housing, and other essential needs 

Talk to your doctor about your needs or use this list of select resources for families to get started in the meantime.  

Resources for Health Professionals

Connect for Health provides resources and support for health care professionals as they support families in making behavioral changes. The family resources outlined above can be shared with patients and their families and can used as tools to guide conversations about health behavior and lifestyle changes. The Connect for Health’s physical activity and nutrition educational materials meet the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) criteria for counseling for nutrition and physical activity.  

Resources for Clinical Practice

Connect for Health provides several resources for clinicians: 
  • Virtual Pediatric Weight Management Guide
  • HealthStream Connect for Health clinician education and best management practices 
    • To access, log in to HealthStream with your Mass General Brigham credentials, select “Catalog,” and use the search feature to find the following two courses:  
    • Connect for Health Introduction: Program Evidence, Background, and Overview  
    • MGfC: Best Practices for Pediatric Weight Management (Additional Content) 
      • This course covers program components for clinicians and families; healthy nutrition for families; binge eating disorder and mindful eating; counseling families on physical activity, screentime, sleep, social-emotional wellness, and bullying; and weight management follow-up visits in primary care. 

Other Resources for Health Professionals

Motivational Interviewing (MI) 

Motivational interviewing can be helpful during conversations about behavior change with patients and families. One place where you can learn more includes: 

  • ChangeTalk: a web-based module and mobile app developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Institute for Child Healthy Weight. ChangeTalk is designed to help health professionals utilize MI techniques to navigate challenging family and patient conversations regarding childhood health behavior and lifestyle.  

Expert Recommendations

In January 2023, the American Academy of Pediatrics released their first Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) outlining evidence-based evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents. You can find them at: 

View our select research publications:

Connect for Health research initiatives were funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Select research publications are below:

  • Taveras et al., (2015) Connect for Health: Design of a clinical-community childhood obesity intervention testing best practices of positive outliers.
  • Taveras et al., (2017) Comparative Effectiveness of Clinical-Community Childhood Obesity Interventions: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
  • Simione et al., (2020) Engaging stakeholders in the adaptation of the Connect for Health pediatric weight management program for national implementation. 
  • Simione et al., (2021) Connect for Health Collaborative. Implementation of the Connect for Health pediatric weight management program: Study protocol and baseline characteristics. 

Learn More With Our Videos

Connect for Health has helpful videos for both families and health professionals. In the top videos,  we have videos in English and Spanish for families that teach you about healthy lifestyles. In the bottom videos, health professionals can learn more about the Connect for Health program and how to help families.  

Family Video Resources to Support Healthy Behaviors

Videos About Connect for Health for Health Professionals

Connect for Health Healthy Behaviors and Lifestyle Overview [English] [Spanish]

Healthy Behaviors and Lifestyle Follow-Up Visit Expectations [English] [Spanish]