Dr. Michael Clark is a neonatologist at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, UT. The small infants that he cares for on the job are often the helpless victims of tobacco use. Seeing these babies fighting for a chance at a healthy life sparked Dr. Clark to take action.
In 1996, he produced a video aimed at preventing youth from "lighting up" and contacted the American Cancer Society about volunteering his time to help their Tobacco Control Committee deliver its message of tobacco abuse prevention.
Ever since then, Dr. Clark has been very involved in teaching the youth of Weber County about the dangers of tobacco use. From the young mothers' group at Washington Alternative High School and the End Nicotine Dependence (END) program at Roy High School to presentations at several elementary schools, Dr. Clark shows his video, gives presentations and runs discussion groups that embody the tobacco abuse prevention message. He teaches participants valuable self-esteem building and refusal skills that can be used when faced with peer pressure. With a very straightforward approach, he tells them the truth about smoking, tobacco and its effects on their health.
His efforts prompted fifth grade students at Green Acres Elementary in Weber County to write letters to the governor of Utah, Michael Leavitt, expressing their concerns on tobacco issues. This is just one example of the positive impact that he is having in the youth of his community.