McKinley Park News – McK-UDOS November Newsletter

McK-UDOS Coalition meeting report
Date: Thursday, November 11, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m.-1: 00 p.m. via Zoom


Participants: 13 people

Andrew Piotrowski (MAHA), Lina Xie (MAHA), Allison Precht (MAHA), Arista Wang (MAHA), Hamid Dadkhah (Lurie Children’s Hospital), Heather Spicer (Heartland Alliance), Karina Cordova (Saint Anthony’s Hospital), Marshay Johnson ( Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center), Yesenia Alarcon (Heartland Alliance), Dion McGill (Lurie Children’s Hospital), Martha Pazdro (Healthcare Alternative Systems), Abigail Torres (MAHA), Edward Boone (Northwestern University)


  • Recent Virtual Town Hall on Underage Alcohol Use
    • The event was recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube channel:

  • Cannabis Education Committee
    • Bi-monthly meetings to work on identifying potential business partners
      • The original plan was to carry out outreach activities with licensed cannabis dispensaries, but was not successful.
      • We are expanding the outreach to include smoke shops or gas stations that sell paraphernalia
    • Awareness and education
      • We were able to offer in-person student workshops, as well as virtual workshops for parents
  • Youth Coalition
    • Three high school students are recruited
    • Young people can participate in other activities that go beyond substance abuse
    • They may decide to focus on topics of interest to them
    • Youth will not be able to attend regular McK-UDOS meetings during the day due to their school schedule
    • The first meeting of the Youth Coalition will be an informal networking meeting on December 4 at the MAHA office
    • Lina asked for suggestions for Youth Coalition activities, members
  • Intern, Abigail Torres, created 2 educational flyers for House Bill 2595 and House Bill 2784 to share with coalition members for feedback


  • Hamid Dadkhah, program coordinator with Lurie Children’s Hospital
    • Connect 4 Youth (C4Y) – 4 year grant for health services targeting ethnic minorities aged 18 to 25
      • Screening, testing and referral to services for HIV / substance use
        • Examiner asks about alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, but there is space for young people to disclose their use of other substances
        • Testing services are provided free of charge
      • Anyone who completes the selection will receive a $ 25 gift card to use for referrals
      • Training will be provided, takes 90 minutes to complete
    • Contact email: This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Lurie STI / HIV / C4Y planning line: 312-487-2179
    • Lina will provide the leaflet announcing this program to all members of the coalition


  • COVID-19 vaccination
    • CPS schools will be closed on November 12 for Immunization Awareness Day to ensure all eligible students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible.
    • City of Chicago to Release Employees 2 Hours Earlier Nov 12 to Obtain COVID-19 Vaccines for Themselves / Their Families
    • There is still some hesitation among Chicago families to vaccinate their children
    • Dion McGill states that Lurie Children’s Hospital provides free vaccines to all eligible students, whether they are new or returning patients.
  • Youth Coalition to Create PSA Videos on COVID-19 Vaccination
  • More resources for COVID-19 vaccination can be found below


  • Staff working to create a data summary that captures data received from the 2018 and 2020 Illinois Youth Survey
    • Once the data sheet is complete, Lina will send it to coalition members for comments.
  • Schools can now welcome us in person for presentations
    • MAHA will continue to do more presentations to the public in this way.


Harry L. Blanchard