Los Alamos Students To Kick Butts Next Week

Dr. Eric Bernstein. Courtesy/LAPS

LAPS Prevention Specialist

The Los Alamos Public Schools Prevention Office has enlisted the assistance of local oncologist, Dr. Eric Bernstein, MD, MPH, to help high school youth kick the nicotine habit or better yet, never start in the first place.

The annual Kick Butts campaign is set to take place in Los Alamos all of next week, with Bernstein featured as a guest speaker on the actual day, Wednesday, March 18.

The “Stand Up, Speak Out and Seize Control” activities will be used as a partial fundraiser for the program and also to benefit the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

“Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, decreases pulmonary capacity and erectile function,” Bernstein said. “The fact that tobacco companies are still able to sell them [tobacco products] is the greatest testament to addiction and marketing that I am aware of in our society.”

In an effort to address the issue, the LAPS Prevention Office has worked with Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School students to create posters and announcements, geared not only to quitting the nicotine habit, but not ever starting in the first place.

LAMS students have worked to design skateboard decks for the fundraising portion, which will be on display at both sites, as well as on the LAMS webpage.

Wednesday, Bernstein is the featured lunch time speaker and will mark the seriousness of the issue with real life data and examples. He is a local oncologist with New Mexico Cancer Care Associates and Northern New Mexico Cancer Care.

New Mexico Cancer Care Associates has offices in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Taos and Raton, where Bernstein practices several days a week. Mondays and Wednesdays, Bernstein also sees clients with Northern New Mexico Cancer Care, at the Los Alamos Medical Center.

Bernstein was brought to New Mexico by friend, colleague and Liminal Point founder, Dr. Scott M. Herbert. Herbert created Liminal Point, Inc, a nonprofit group dedicated to addressing the emotional impact of cancer on patients and their families.

Bernstein is originally from North Carolina, studied at the University of North Carolina for Medical and Public Health School and completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at Indiana University.

Also, on Friday, the silver medal winning Los Alamos Robotics team will hold a high tech demonstration to engage every student from STEM to stern. The team will traverse a robot on a collision course to demolish nicotine related products, all in an effort to drive home the message.

The robot, under the direction and driving skills of Evan Solms and through the instructional expertise of teacher Don Davis, will end the week on a high note and prizes will be awarded for participation.

Those wishing to make donations to the skateboard fundraiser can watch the LAMS website for more information throughout the week at http://www.laschools.net/lams.