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.

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)


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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