McKinley Park News – 2022 McK-UDOS March Coalition Newsletter

As the State of Illinois has ended its mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions, we want to continue to advocate for precautionary measures and guidance to help reduce the spread of COVID- 19 through hand washing, social distancing, respiratory etiquette, and regular cleaning and sanitizing. We are currently fully reopened with all programs and services available for in-person and virtual access.

The McKinley Park Underage Drinking & Other Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (McK-UDOS) works to reduce levels of alcohol and marijuana use among youth in McKinley Park. The coalition has just held its bi-monthly meeting and released its March newsletter, posted below.
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McK-UDOS Coalition Meeting Minutes
When: Thursday, March 10, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. via Zoom

Presence: 13 attendees

Flor Mendoza (Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc), Yana Nudelman (Project: VISION), Carlos Rodriguez (Westcare Illinois), Arista Wang (MAHA), Levi Welbourn (Lurie Children’s Hospital), Miriam Serrano (Healthcare Alternative Systems), Justin Kerr ( McKinley Park News), Sara Valdivia (Lurie Children’s Hospital, Katie Panka (Youth Outreach Services), Jessica Casiano (Chicago HIDTA), Joseph Mele (DEA), Andrew Piotrowski (MAHA), Lina Xie (MAHA)

1. PROGRAM UPDATES

  • Cannabis Committee Update
    • Introducing the McK-UDOS Community Partner Sticker
      • Explained the coalition’s efforts to try to partner with a local small business to provide cannabis education materials
      • Justin Kerr suggested we also reach out to provide stickers to community organizations, in addition to pursuing for-profit businesses
      • If any of the coalition members or partner organizations/groups would like to receive a McK-UDOS Community Partner Sticker, please email This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Lina spoke about ongoing efforts to conduct outreach in schools and increase participation in the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS)
    • The IYS enables schools and community members to better understand students’ perspectives on a variety of behavioral and mental health indicators, as well as their perception of the school climate and their community environment.

2. PARTNER SHARING UPDATES

  • Carlos Rodriguez (Westcare Illinois) leads addiction education in partnership with schools and offers to provide the coalition with an outline of the program for the next coalition meeting

3. OPEN DISCUSSION

  • Sharing the action plan
    • Report and update coalition members on the status of coalition activities: activities completed or completed, in progress or in progress
    • Discussion of upcoming educational/outreach materials for Alcohol Awareness Month and Cannabis Awareness Month, both in April
      • Justin Kerr suggested a prom-themed post
      • Kaitie Panka mentioned education about alternative healthy coping mechanisms rather than turning to substance use
      • Carlos Rodriguez suggested middle school/college to high school transition information for parents
  • Youth Coalition
    • All members are invited to attend the next Youth Coalition meeting to engage with students who are currently involved
    • Almost everyone present expressed an interest in meeting the students
    • Lina will send an email to remind all coalition members

4. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Lurie Children’s Hospital new Youth Leaders in HIV (YLH) program
    • Work to create a cohort of students to provide sexual/reproductive health information
    • Application deadline: March 14, 2022
  • COVID-19 event on 3/15 in Bridgeport
    • No appointment necessary
    • Location: 3500 S. Morgan Street
    • Time: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

NEXT MEETING : May 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom.
Request for information and others, email This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Harry L. Blanchard