McKinley Park News – McKinley January Newsletter


Good year! The continued spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a situation that is impacting the world and our community. We want to advocate the precautionary measures and guidance to help the spread of COVID-19 of proper hand washing, social distancing, respiratory etiquette, and regular cleaning and disinfecting. 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 published its January newsletter, published below.

McK-UDOS Coalition Meeting Minutes

When: Thursday, January 13, 2022

Time: 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. via Zoom


Participants: 15 people

Sara Reschly (BPNC), Tanya Bibbs-Smith (TASC), Cecily Smith (Project Vision), Justin Kerr (McKinley Park News), Martha Pazdro (HAS), Karina Cordova (St. Anthony’s Hospital), Arista Wang (MAHA), Miriam Serrano (HAS), Yesenia Alarcon (Heartland Alliance), Joe Mele (Drug Enforcement Administration), Jessica Casiano (Chicago HIDTA), Dion McGill (Lurie Children’s Hospital), Abigail Torres (MAHA), Andrew Piotrowski (MAHA), Lina Xie (MAHA)


  • MAHA Virtual Fundraiser Recap
    • Andrew Piotrowski outlined the highlights of the event, shared successful donations
    • Link to fundraising video on YouTube:

    • The coalition has completed a comprehensive training program and will receive certification for completion
  • New MAHA satellite offices
    • Aurora Location: 4360 E New York St, Aurora, IL 60564
      • Service offered: health insurance navigator, vaccinations, gambling screening and awareness, and community health screenings
    • Bridgeport location: 3500 S. Morgan St, Chicago, IL 60609
      • Services offered: health insurance navigation, vaccinations and community health screenings
    • Lina encouraged members to share information about new satellite office locations with their networks


  • Joe Mele – Drug Enforcement Administration
    • Offer assistance in sensitizing the community, also requested information regarding the price of new drugs, sales, etc. to please contact him at This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Tanya Bibbs-Smith – TASC
    • TASC to host on-campus resource fairs in February for addiction and gambling services
    • TASC also works with the National Problem Gambling Council on services for veterans with substance use issues or problem gambling behavior.


  • Karina Cordova at Saint Anthony Hospital Community Wellness Program
    • Family Support Service – Promotes strong and healthy parent-child relationships
      • Child, adolescent and family therapy
        • Free, but there is a waiting list
        • If someone who has health insurance applies, they may be referred to another agency that can provide immediate support
      • Development support
        • Provides education for parents of children up to 8 years old
        • Also provides training and technical assistance to pediatricians and family physicians
      • ACT- Adults and children together against violence
        • Educational series for parents of children under 10
      • APE- Education of adolescents and parents
        • A series of 9 to 10 sessions bringing together parents and adolescents
    • Mental Health Services – The aim is to provide culturally appropriate counseling services and emotional support to adults who have limited or no access to health insurance
      • 3 basic services:
        1. Individual therapy
        2. Couples therapy
        3. Group therapy
    • Case management
      • Housing assistance
      • Crisis intervention
      • Economic/employment assistance
      • Education support
      • Employment assistance
      • Legal support
        • Assistance with legal accompaniment (they do NOT retain the services of lawyers)
        • Assistance with restraining orders
        • child help
    • Access to health care
      • Medical help
      • BREAK
      • Health insurance for pregnant women and CHIP
    • Pitches
      • Small village
      • North Lawndale
      • Brighton Park
      • Behind the construction sites



  • Joe Mele – DEA
    • National Medication Take Back Event – Saturday April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      • You can also drop off unused prescriptions or over-the-counter medications at your local police station.
      • E-mail This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information
      • Lina noted that we have collaborated with National Medication Take Back Day events over the past years and aim to promote the upcoming event.
  • Lina Xie – MAHA
    • Providing flyers about the Back of the Yards COVID-19 event hosted by Plant Chicago
      • Saturday, Jan. 15, Plant Chicago will host covid vaccines, boosters and testing for anyone over 12. There will also be the sale of local food boxes and products from the Firehouse Market (products, honey, kombucha). For any questions, send an e-mail This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Back of the Yards library needs KN95 masks, especially for children
      • If you have information on where to get them, please contact Corina Pedraza (Back of the Yards Library) – [email protected]


  • Thursday, March 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 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