November 2021 McK-UDOS Coalition Newsletter



With the current pandemic of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), it has been an evolving situation 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 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, November 11, 2021

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


Attendees: 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 Drinking
  • Cannabis Education Committee
    • Bi-monthly meetings to work on identifying potential business partners
      • Original plan was to conduct outreach with authorized cannabis dispensaries but was not successful
      • We are expanding the scope of outreach to include Smoke Shops or Gas Stations that sell paraphernalia
    • Outreach and Education
      • We have been able to provide in-person student workshops, as well as virtual parent workshops
    • Youth Coalition
      • Three high school students are recruited
      • Youth can participate in other activities that go beyond substance abuse
        • They can decide to focus on topics that interest them
      • Youth will be unable to attend regular McK-UDOS meetings during the day due to their school schedule
      • First Youth Coalition meeting will be an informal, networking meet-up on December 4th at MAHA office
      • Lina asked for suggestions for Youth Coalition activities, from 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 healthcare services targeting ethnic minorities age 18-25
              • Screening, Testing, and referral to services for HIV/Substance Use
                • Screener asks about use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana but there is a space for youth to disclose other substance use
                • Screening services are provided free of charge
              • Anyone who completes the screening will be provided a $25 gift card to be used for referrals
              • Training will be conducted, takes 90 minutes to complete
            • Contact email: [email protected]
            • Lurie STI/HIV/C4Y scheduling line: 312-487-2179
            • Lina will provide the flyer advertising this program to all coalition members


          • COVID-19 vaccinations
            •  CPS schools will be closed November 12th for Vaccination Awareness Day to ensure that all eligible students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible
            • City of Chicago to release its employees 2 hours early on Nov. 12 to get COVID-19 vaccines for themselves/their families
            • There are still some hesitancies among Chicago families to vaccinate their children
            • Dion McGill states that Lurie Children’s Hospital is providing free vaccinations to all eligible students, regardless of if they are new patients or returning ones
            • Youth Coalition will be creating PSA Videos on COVID-19 Vaccination
            • More resources for COVID-19 vaccination can be found below


          • Staff working on creating a data summary briefs that captures the data received from Illinois Youth Survey 2018 and 2020
            •  Once the data brief is completed, Lina will send out to coalition members for feedback
          • Schools are now able to accommodate us in-person for presentations
            • MAHA will continue to conduct more presentations to the public this way


            7. NEXT MEETING

            • Thursday, January 13th from 11:30am – 1:00pm
            • Request for material translations, email [email protected]