September 2020 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. For the moment, we have closed our offices to help reduce the spread of the virus. However, we are still working remotely to continue our mission.

McK-UDOS Coalition Meeting Minutes

Date: Thursday, September. 24, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm- 1:30 pm Via Zoom


AilinChang - MAHA
Hong Liu - MAHA
Allison Plyer - MAHA
Ricky Lam - MAHA
Jonas Ginsburg – MAHA
Lina Xie - MAHA
Arista Wang - MAHA
Kelly Zhen – MAHA
Saul Zhang - MAHA
Nina He - MAHA
Justin Huang - MAHA
Vivian Xu - Chinese American Service League
Daniela Aguilar– Haymarket Center
Alicia Valdes – Chicago HIDTA National Guard
Hong Deng – Illinois Breast Center Hospital
Sara Reschly - BPNC
Martha Pazdro– Healthcare Alternative Systems (HAS)
Edward Rustamzadeh - UIC
Patricia Witkowski- DEA
TSgt Eileen Lacy – Illinois National Guard Counterdrug Taskforce
Michelle Flagg – Illinois Liquor Control
Carlos Rodriguez – West Care Foundation Illinois


    I. Update to change in some responsibilities over to Ailin regarding substance abuse prevention team

    II. 2020 IYS Data Report

          a. Incomplete data collection for survey report due to school closures

              Unable to collect release forms
      b. Compared to 2018, due to the pandemic, consistent difficulty with reach out to schools
              High schools of particular difficulty- ongoing communication efforts needed to gain the participation of at least one high school

        III. Social Media Campaign

           a. Outreached to Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat about drug use prevention, substance abuse, and other substance prevention
           b. MAHA’s Twitter handle: @McKUDOS_chi


          I. DEA:

             a. Red Ribbon Month hosted in October- speak to schools and organizations about drug awareness and prevention
             b. Outreach and education materials available
             c. Collaboration with MAHA available in the form of in-person or online meeting

          II. Illinois National Guard

                     a. Virtual meeting will be held over drug prevention

                     b. Announcement to be sent out later to the coalition

          III. Illinois Liquor Control is hosting College Town Summit for alcohol abuse with more information to be distributed. 12th Annual College Town Summit on October 14, 2020 from 9:30 am- Noon

                     a. To sign up:

          IV. Healthcare Alternative Systems offers substance use disorder treatment, and services are available for youth and adult


          I. Gambling addiction prevention – Kelly & Arista

              a. Presented education slides used in public education regarding identification of gambling addiction, characteristics of gambling addiction, and available resources for addiction assistance

              b. Results from MAHA screening questionnaire to be released at a later date when exact statistics had been formally calculated

              c. Survey efforts indicated general support for the program but increasing outreach efforts are needed

              d. Circulation of the survey is encouraged amongst partners and their organizations

          II. Summer youth program &Substance abuse prevention - Ricky & Allison

              a. Introduced 18 student youths into this year’s program

                      High participation rate amongst this year’s students

                      Reflections from Allison’s participation:

                            General likeability on behalf of students toward the substance abuse workshop

          III. Summer youth program & Suicide prevention – Ailin

              a. Reflections from Ailin’s participation:

                      Low awareness of suicidal intention and behavior observed from students- not seeing the connection between the information with their daily lives

                      Music videos are made available by Jonas Ginsburg as additional resources

          IV. Racist and suicide - Edward (Absent)


          I. Opportunities for ongoing collaboration

          II. Meditative Video Resources



          I. Illinois Department Public Health hosting mask design competition in light of COVID-19.

              a. Flyer and link available about then event from Allison Plyer

              b. Link:

          II. Refer to Partner Sharing Updates for additional announcements.


          I. Next coalition meeting will take place November 12, 2020 over Zoom

          II. Calendar invite will be sent

      Red Ribbon Week

      Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. It began as a tribute to fallen DEA special agent Enrique Camerena in 1985.  The McK-UDOS Coalition has been working to collaborate with CPS Schools to organize students and parents to take their stance to be drug free.

      October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

      Participate in the Dose of Prevention Challenge

      Did you know that one in 30 youth ages 12 through 17 has misused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient, and one in 5 young adults has misused a prescription drug? Help raise awareness of the dangers of prescription (Rx) drug abuse and over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine misuse during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month in October, and take part in the Dose of Prevention Challenge.

      Through the Dose of Prevention Challenge, we’re asking coalitions to:

      • Host an awareness campaign on your social media platforms and track your engagements
      • Hold a virtual town-hall or meeting with your community about OTC and cough medicine misuse
      • Implement an integrated marketing and communications campaign (for example, campaign could include media outreach, PSA placements, ad buys, social media activity, etc.)
      • Hold an innovative contest (for example, a middle school essay contest that encourages youth to write about why they are inspired to live drug free)

      To qualify, your coalition must implement one of the above activities. However, coalitions can increase their odds of winning by implementing multiple activities!

      Here are a few requirements:

      • It must take place during the month of October, National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.
      • All activities must address BOTH prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter cough medicine abuse.
      • You must distribute the Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse brochure, available in English and Spanish at:

      So, are you up for the challenge? The deadline to submit is Friday, November 6, 2020. Register for the Dose of Prevention Challenge using the following link: