June 2019 McK-UDOS Newsletter


Coalition Meeting

On June 13, 2019 we had our coalition meeting.  We had 15 members attend.  Below are the Meeting Minutes:

Called to meeting at 12:06 pm

Presentation by Vernalynne De La Rosa (Program Coordinator): 


  • Daniela Aguilar – Haymarket
  • Lauren Bozarth – Haymarket
  • Vernalynne De La Rosa – MAHA
  • Coleen del Rosario – MAHA
  • Faith Hong – Project Vision
  • Rev Walter Jones – Father’s Who Care
  • Justin Kerr – McKinley Park News
  • Eileen Lacy – Army National Guard
  • Mayra Lopez-Zuniga – State Rep Mah’s Office
  • Hilda Martinez – Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
  • Gabrielle Nichols – Chicago Department of Public Health
  • Kyle Shrader – MAHA
  • Veronica Smith – Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
  • Simon Su – MAHA
  • Fatima Villasenor – Chicago Children’s Center


  • Coalition members should have received the most recent newsletter.  In the newsletter, the updates of the last few months have been provided. Moving forward, there will be a newsletter to provide updates, so we don’t take up as much time providing updates at our coalition meeting.
  • We updated our website to be easily navigable. Our past newsletters are also on the website. Please check out our website at http://maha-us.org/substance-abuse-prevention-program
  • Summer youth program (July 1 - August 9)
    • Almost done with recruitment.  We have spaces for 25 kids of ages 13-16 y/o
    • Workshops and schedule set up. We are finalizing the field trips
  • SAMHSA Community Talks
    • We received a stipend for provide community talks.  We are possibly setting up a panel. We will be reaching out to get more time
  • House Bill 1438
    • At the end of May 2019, the Illinois Senate and House passed legalizing selling recreational marijuana. McK-UDOS will continue to use strategies to reduce underage marijuana use.
    • Coalition member mentioned we research what states who have already legalized recreational marijuana
    •  take on the same strategy of reducing marijuana use in youth of other states who have already legalized recreational marijuana
    • A study looks at the effectiveness of messaging to youth to reduce fast food consumption
      • Appealing to youth’s sense of rebellion against capitalist ideals of fast food chains was an effective strategy
      • Perhaps we can use similar strategies with youth about substance use
    • Looking at other states that have legalized and seeing patterns
      • With the legalization of recreational marijuana, illegal trade in Illinois continues because of high cost of legal marijuana.
    • Mapping
      • One of our interns provide mapping on incidents of assaults, battery, liquor license violation, and narcotics cases near schools.
      • National Guard has access to juvenile details helpful for mapping
      • One suggestion is to look at instances other than liquor law violations like DUI, graffiti, etc.
  • Kaizen: change for the better which results in continuous improvement
    • Kaizen Report: process analysis to assess the functionality of a coalition
  • Presentation was done by Sgt. Eileen Lacy
  • We originally did the Kaizen Survey in December 2018 coalition meeting.
  • Biggest gap in participation; speaks to the culture of the coalition and how one represents their organization
  • Each person who attended received some of the coalition information: bylaws, logic model, info sheet about McK-UDOS


  • In the past, we have had our coalition meetings once every quarter. With the results of the Kaizen Survey, we have thought about about having a coalition meeting once every other month. 
  • The motion to change meetings from once every quarter to every other month was put out by Vernalynne.  All who in attendance who were in favor to change meetings raised their hand.  
  • It was agreed upon to change the meeting frequency to once every other month.  It will continue to be the second Thursday of the month. 


  • Each attendee was given a Coalition Involvement Agreement and a Skills Inventory to complete. It was asked for each person to complete agreement and to be able to identify how involved they would like to be and also to complete skills inventory to best use the skills of each member.


  • Original organizational structure was passed out so members were aware of them.  Members who were attending were asked if we should keep them as Chair, Treasurer, Secretary. Or should we change to 2 co-chairs and a secretary.
  • People who come to meetings are encouraged to take on chair positions
  • Importance of individual/organizational investment in coalition


  • Original subcommittees
    • Outreach Committee
    • Alcohol & Marijuana
    • Marketing Committee
    • Evaluation Committee
  • Subcommittees from June 2018
    • Communication
    • Coalition and Coalition Engagement
    • Policy
    • Data collection / Assessment
  • Discussion was started about youth neighborhood council within the service area. We will work to find Youth Advisory Committees already in existence to help start out our youth coalition.
  • Brainstorming of coalition members about what they believe the subcommittees.  Some ideas include
    • Marketing / media / press releases
    • Establishment of data, communications campaign, recruiting, fundraising, sustainability committees
    • Maintaining engagement with all stakeholders within community
    • Sustainability (encompassing recruitment, fundraising, structure)
    • Broadening of substances outside marijuana and alcohol
    • Prevention
    • Intervention
  • Work Group
    • We asked for some people to volunteer to help finalize committees and subcommittees
      • It was recommended some of this can be done on a Google Docs
      • 4 members volunteered (Veronica Smith, Justin Kerr, Lauren Bozarth, Sgt Lacy)
      • If you are interested in being part of the work group, email Vernalynne De La Rosa

Adjourned 1:30pm 

MAHA Summer Youth Program 

MAHA is having its 2nd annual summer youth program from July 1, 2019 to August 9, 2019.  We will have 25 youth ages 13-years-old to 16-years-old.  We continue our work in providing activities like field trips, painting, ceramics, civic engagement, substance abuse prevention education and more. 

We will have our closing ceremony on Friday, August 9th.  The location is still to be determined.  


The McK-UDOS website has been revamped its website for easier navigation with new photos from events, updated Illinois Youth Survey information from 2018, our communication campaigns and more. Go and check it out http://www.maha-us.org/substance-abuse-prevention-program/

We have provided presentations for students at Gunsaulus Elementary School. There has been positive feedback from students and staff on how the conversations has helped open communication and discussion surrounding the dangers of drugs and the youths' thoughts and experiences.  We finished our outreach at Kelly High School with their Parent Advisory Council.

Please let us know if you are interested in presentations for students or parents in English, Spanish and Chinese. 

We continue to work on improving our social media presence.  With the volunteer/interns we have had in the last semester, we have able to be more consistent in our postings.  Please follow us on Twitter  @McKUDOS_chi and Facebook @mckudoscoalition

There was a training on Trauma Sensitive Yoga, which given Healing Lotus Trauma Sensitive Yoga through Hartgrove Hospital. It provided an short introduction to integrate strategies in a clinical session or when dealing with children and adults who have experienced trauma.  

Internship/Volunteer Position

The Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) has an opening internship for a part-time or full-time intern / volunteer for the McKinley Park Underage Drinking and Other Substance (McKUDOS) Prevention Coalition to begin immediately.

Coalition’s Goal: McK-UDOS is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program. The coalition’s goal is to prevent and reduce alcohol and marijuana use among youth in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood.

Typical Duties:

  •  Assist in expanding, sustaining, and coordinating a multi-sector coalition in McKinley Park by reaching out to schools, churches and local community organizations.
  • Attend meetings with social service agencies, law enforcement, schools, community-based organizations
  • Write articles to promote coalition prevention efforts and activities to be published on Chicago Tribune’s Community Contributors page, local ethnic newspapers, social media channels.
  • Manage social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook.
  • Assist the coalition in planning prevention activities to meet the aims and objectives of the coalition.
  • Assist in distributing campaign materials (posters, flyers, and brochures) to schools, parents, and community members at events and meetings
  • Communicate /present Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) results and other data related to underage drinking and marijuana use in McKinley Park to public health officials, coalition members, local community leaders, school administrators and teachers, and parents
  • Prepare briefs, reports, policy statements, presentations, and other materials as needed.
  • Carry out project-related administrative responsibilities and perform other duties as required.


Education: Must be enrolled in university at undergraduate or graduate level, studying public health, journalism, communications, marketing, global health, education, social work or other equivalent equivalent field preferred. Or have a Bachelor’s degree in the above mentioned studies.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • Experience in journalistic writing and social media.
  • Knowledge and professional experience in substance abuse or related fields preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, comfortable with public speaking and presentations.
  • Flexible working hours with the ability to work independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Demonstrated cultural competence and professionalism in the workplace.
  • Experience with Latino and Asian community highly desirable
  • Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin, speaker highly preferred

Salary Range: This is an unpaid position and can be paired with school credit.  If interested, please email a resume with a cover letter to:

Vernalynne De La Rosa
Program Coordinator
Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA)
230 W. Cermak, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60616
Tel: 312-225-8708



Bilingual AmeriCorps Member

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Members commit their time to address critical community needs. Sponsored by the United Way Metropolitan Chicago, Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA) has two AmericCorp positions open for the Navigator Program.

Job Summary: AmeriCorps member works for the Navigator Program by providing assistance to individuals and families in applying for health insurance.

Essential Functions

* Conducting interviews with applicants to help determine eligibility

* Provide one-on-one assistance in person and/or over the phone to facilitate enrollee’s selection of a qualified health plan

* Assist families and individuals in navigating the health insurance system to find the most affordable coverage that meets their needs.


* No experience is needed

* Must be committed to a full-time position at 36 hours per week starting Nov. 1, 2018 to Oct. 30, 2019

* Interpersonal Skills: Ability to work with the Chinese population

* Language Skills: Proficiency in English and Chinese verbal communication skills required


* $16,000 per year with health insurance, plus $6,000 educational fund.

If interested, please send a resume to

Kelly Zhen, Program Manager kellyzhen@maha-us.org

Kelley Mui, Program Supervisor kelleymui@maha-us.org

Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 12:00pm  - 1:30pm
Midwest Asian Health Association
230 W Cermak Road, 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 

Please let us know if you have any announcements you would like us to provide for our next meeting and newsletter.

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