will county substance abuse prevention coalition

Will County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (WCSAPC)

Main Meeting – February 2022

February 22, 2022


In-Person and Zoom Meeting

Minutes Approved: March 22, 2022


Members Present


In-Person: Donnie Chestnutt (6), Diane DeVries (4), Courtney Garfield (7), Brittany Gruver (7), William McCarty (13), Bonnie McPhillips (7), Sgt. Robert Platos (7), Sheree Stilwell (8), Kristen Schroder (5)

Zoom: Aishwarya Balakrishna (10), Gloria Bloodsaw (12), Caitlin Daly (10), Jan Dombrowski (12), Jenny Evangelista (10), Jen Hahs (12), Chief Dan Jungles (7), Dan Martin (12), Tracey Papesh (12), Loren Yaksich (12)



Call to Order/Welcome

Start: 4:35PM


Pledge of Allegiance


Introductions (Name & Organization) 

Welcome to any first-time attendees



  • Treasurer – Loren Yaksich – Financial Report
    • $35,933 balance
    • No Expenses this month
    • Motion to approve: Bonnie first, Sgt. Platos seconds
  • Secretary – Aishwarya Balakrishna – Approval of January minutes
    • Motion to approve: Loren first, Gloria seconds


WCSAPC Requirements:

  • DFC Grant Report – Bonnie McPhillips
    • Just submitted progress report to CDC
    • We are in year 4 of the DFC grant, we will be reapplying at the end of this year or beginning of next year – deadline is next spring
    • Outcomes from Dr. McCarty will be submitted with application
  • DFC Grant Progress Report due Feb. 25 (Courtney is continuing to work on it.)
    • Submitted early!


Subcommittee/Action Team Reports

  • Alcohol – Brittany Gruver
    • CADCA ideas from Courtney were discussed
  • Marijuana – Sgt. Robert Platos
    • Did not meet today before main meeting
  • Nicotine – Caitlin Daly
    • Did not meet this month due to Will County closure on February 17th – next meeting is on March 17th
  • Social Media – Jackie VanOvermeiren/Courtney Garfield
    • No updates – if you have ideas, please reach out to Courtney
  • Care Team Updates – Sgt. Robert Platos
    • No requests for the HIPS Trailer as of now, but we are expecting requests to start coming in next month
    • Bonnie suggests Care Team meeting at the end of March to discuss updates and progress
  • Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) Update – Dr. WiIliam McCarty
    • TGFD updates BELOW in Old Business


Sector Reports & Sharing: 

  • Business in the Community: Brian Delli
    • Courtney: Networking Lunch on Tuesday March 22nd in Joliet – Courtney can forward information
  • Civic Volunteer Groups: United Way
    • No updates
  • College or University: OPEN
    • Need to fill
  • Faith-Based, Religious, or Fraternal Organizations: Sheree Stilwell
    • Contacted by Troy School District for Resource Fair – happening in April
    • Plainfield Schools Resource Fair in March
  • Healthcare Professionals: Jen Hahs and Gloria Bloodsaw
    • Rosecrance is operating with accommodating both in person and virtual treatments
    • Silver Oaks shifting beds to accommodate more adolescents as they deal with more mental health crises
    • Gateway back to face-to-face with virtual options for treatment
    • It is going to be a challenge to complete IYS among schools this year – many schools are prioritizing basic operations/needs due to staffing shortages and challenges of the pandemic
      • Grundy, Cook, and Will struggling to get schools to participate
      • This data is important to understand youth trends
    • Youth are experiencing many mental health struggles, facilities are seeing many youth patients with mental health disorders
      • More trends of substance use as well – especially marijuana, benzodiazepines, and alcohol
      • Youth are using substances to cope with their mental health struggles, but the drugs are making their conditions worse
    • Law Enforcement Agency: Lockport PD
      • Not present – no updates
    • Media: Diane DeVries
      • Working on Snapchat campaign – alcohol and marijuana
      • Jen H: Youth are using marijuana and alcohol as a self-medication to help with anxiety and depression, but the substance use ends up making it worse
        • Reeducation is needed on the harm of these substances and how they worsen their mental health struggles
      • Organizations Focusing in Substance Abuse: Tim Cramer
        • Not present – no updates
      • Parents: Undersheriff Brian Conser
        • Not present – no updates
      • Schools: OPEN
        • Need to fill
      • State or Local Government Agencies: Kathleen Burke
        • Courtney sent out update from Dr. Burke via email
      • Youth: Peter Conser
        • Not present – no updates
      • Youth Servicing Organizations: YMCA / Katy LeClair & Donnie Chestnutt
        • Summer camp is happening – 1500 kids expected to participate across local school districts
        • Partnership with JJC for workforce development – successful event with high school kids
        • College trips for high school kids


Note:  Please limit any individual sector reporting to 10 minutes.


Old Business

  • Too Good for Drugs – Sgt. Robert Platos
    • McCarty:
      • 349 pre-tests, 12 questions to gauge initial knowledge – average score 8.38/12
      • Post-tests online – average score 10.2/12 on test
      • We want to see improvement and we saw that from the responses
      • We can see a statistically significant improvement according to the data!
    • Platos – Thanks to Principal Schroder for being a great partner in teaching this program
    • Principal Schroder – kids really enjoyed the program and learned a lot
    • Chief Jungles – hoping to have someone full time to teach program, and looking forward to expanding program to more grades and schools
  • CADCA Annual Conference – Caitlin Daly, Aishwarya Balakrishna, Sheree Stilwell, Courtney Garfield
    • Courtney: Super fun! 2000 participants and many youths in attendance
      • We presented a poster at the Coalition Ideas Fair on the HIPS Trailer
      • Many took pictures and resources from our poster station even when were not standing at the poster
      • Many were interested in doing similar education in their communities
      • Reached a lot of people and attendees were impressed with the initiative
      • People have been reaching out to Courtney with questions after the conference as well
    • Caitlin: We attended a lot of trainings!
      • Combatting Trends: Environmental scans are very useful to understand community and can be helpful to have targeted strategies to address substance use
        • Baseline for the community
        • Scans involve community members in observing trends and patterns that the coalition can use to better understand what is happening in the community
        • This would be a great strategy for us to use
      • Shifting Mental Health Substance Use Outcomes with Tobacco Control Practices training
        • Smoking is not always addressed when people are using other substances with tobacco
        • Addressing tobacco use and using strategies for tobacco control can reduce overall substance use and tackles mental health aspect of substance use
        • Using nicotine in youth is a precursor for adult substance use – adults may start to use more than just nicotine
      • Aishwarya: Capitol Hill Day
        • Met with colleagues from Illinois the day before Capitol Hill Day to prepare – we look forward to keeping in touch with these folks
        • Met with Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s office, Congressman Bill Foster’s office (the Congressman himself was present for this meeting), and Senator Dick Durbin’s office
          • They were all responsive to our efforts in addressing youth substance use and were supportive of our initiatives
          • There was also youth participation in the Senator Durbin meeting from youth that were attending from other parts of Illinois
        • We shared a handout that we created with our WCSAPC accomplishments, as well as the materials from our HIPS Trailer presentation with all three offices after CHD
        • Congresswoman Underwood’s office has asked us to let them know when we reapply for the DFC grant – they would like to be of assistance to us during the reapplication process
      • Sheree:
        • Drug Endangered Children session
          • Tennessee based coalitions presented: strategies were discussed to treat the ENTIRE family and working with CBOs to help community members address substance use in their families
          • Systemic change across communities is needed
          • 7 million children in the U.S. live in a household with at least 1 parent that uses/abuses substances
        • Bonnie: Keep track of in-kind hours, next CADCA training is in July in Orlando


New Business

  • Announcements
    • Jen Hahs: New Lenox Coalition/Will County Executive Office Narcan Training: Monday March 21st 7-8:30PM over Zoom
  • Ashleigh from Your Choice will be at the April meeting to present on vaping
    • Your Choice helped with training portion of HIPS Trailer initiative
    • Vaping presentation for all populations (adults, youth, concerned community members)
  • Other topics
    • Jan D. brought up use of inhalants is coming back among youth
    • Delta-8 and increased Kratom use is also emerging among youth
    • QR codes are now being used for ordering drugs: DEA has new information on this trend



End: 5:20PM


Next Meeting: March 22, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. IN Person/VIA ZOOM




Drug-Free Communities Definition of a Coalition:

A community-based formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration among groups or sectors of a community in which each group retains its identity, but all agree to work together toward a common goal of building a safe, healthy, and drug-free community.