March 2022 McK-UDOS Coalition Newsletter



While 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 spreading of COVID-19 through proper hand washing, social distancing, respiratory etiquette and cleaning and disinfecting regularly. We are currently fully reopened with all programs and services available for in-person and virtual access.

McK-UDOS Coalition Meeting Minutes

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2022

Time: 11:30 am- 1:00 pm via Zoom


Attendance: 13 participants

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)


  • Update on Cannabis Committee
    • Presented the McK-UDOS Community Partner sticker
    • Explained the coalition’s efforts to trying to establish a partnership with a local small business to provide cannabis education materials
    • Justin Kerr suggested that we also reach out to provide stickers to community-based organizations, in addition to pursuing for-profit businesses
    • If any of the coalition members or partner organizations/groups are interested in receiving a McK-UDOS Community Partner sticker, please email [email protected]
  • Lina spoke about ongoing efforts to conduct outreach in schools and increase participation in the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS)
    • IYS allows 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) is conducting substance abuse education in partnerships with schools and offers to provide the coalition an overview of the curriculum for the next coalition meeting

          4. OPEN DISCUSSION

          • Share out of Action Plan
            • Report back and update coalition members on the status of coalition activities: activities completed or achieved, in progress, or ongoing
            • Discussion on upcoming educational/outreach materials for Alcohol Awareness Month and Cannabis Awareness Month, both in April
              • Justin Kerr suggested a prom-related themed message
              • Kaitie Panka mentioned education on alternative healthy coping mechanisms rather than turning to use of substance
              • Carlos Rodriguez suggested information on transitioning from middle school/junior high school to high school for parents
          • Youth Coalition
            • All members are invited to attend the next Youth Coalition meeting to engage with the students who are currently involved
            • Nearly everyone in attendance expressed interest in meeting with the students
            • Lina will send out an email to reminder all coalition members


            • Lurie Children’s Hospital new program Youth Leaders in HIV (YLH)
              • Working to create a cohort of students to provide info surrounding sexual/reproductive health
              • Deadline to apply: March 14, 2022
            • COVID-19 event on 3/15 in Bridgeport
              • No appointment needed
              • Location: 3500 S. Morgan Street
              • Time: 3:30pm to 6:30pm

            7. NEXT MEETING

            • Thursday, May 12th from 11:30am to 1pm via Zoom
            • Request for information and others, email [email protected]