102721CM0188SPRINGFIELD – Following the Senate passage of the Youth Health and Safety Act, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas released the following statement:

“Illinois continues to support reproductive health and provide people a safe haven to exercise their right to choose. While states like Texas continuously strip this right away, today we stand in solidarity with young pregnant people who might not have an adult family member to safely go to about an unplanned pregnancy.

“An unplanned pregnancy can be daunting for anyone, especially for a young pregnant person in an unsafe and unstable living situation. Solutions that help young pregnant people get the support they need will allow them to make the personal health decisions that are best for them.”

Category: Press Releases

EnvisionUnlimited1CHICAGO – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) took time last week to visit two Envision Unlimited facilities in the district she represents. The visit allowed her to see first-hand the importance of providing support for people with disabilities through community-based programs. 

“Envision Unlimited is doing such important work serving people of all ages who live with disabilities,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Meeting some of the program participants and the people that help provide them with support was affirming in knowing what I need to advocate for in Springfield. Having a parent who navigates state disability services, I have witnessed how daunting it can be to secure consistent support despite having a stable family and housing structure.”

Envision Unlimited has served residents of Illinois for over 70 years, in 22 counties, with over 2,000 individuals currently benefitting from their home and community-based programs. 

“The success of our mission to provide Illinoisans who have disabilities a broad array of choices, maximum independence and inclusion in the larger society greatly depends upon the support of state government,” said Envision Unlimited CEO Mark McHugh. “Senator Pacione-Zayas’ interest in the lives of people with disabilities is refreshing and heartwarming. Our staff was honored to host her and grateful that she cared enough to witness what we do on a daily basis to uplift Illinois residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness.”EnvisionUnlimited2

During her visit, Pacione-Zayas visited the Cornelia Community Integrated Living Arrangement which provides mental health support to women and encourages them to move toward independence. She also visited the Diversey Center whose day program focuses on development and enhancement of daily adaptive living skills and economic self-sufficiency for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Envision Unlimited provides not only the necessary safety net, but also targeted clinical support to ensure community members can lead a dignified independent lifestyle,” Pacione-Zayas said. “ I look forward to partnering on how we can leverage future opportunities to advance the mission of the organization.”

Learn more about Envision Unlimited and the support services they provide to people and children with intellectual/developmental disabilities on their website

Category: Press Releases

SB1833Celebration PacioneZayas

CHICAGO – State Senator Pacione-Zayas (D- Chicago) and House Assistant Majority Leader Delia Ramirez (D- Chicago) along with other community leaders celebrated a new law that allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to designate cultural districts throughout the state.

“I am proud to have worked on this new law, and I am excited to see how communities come together to preserve their identities,” Pacione-Zayas said. “The law affirms and uplifts all the unique cultures in our state as we work toward economic recovery from the pandemic.”

An initiative of the Puerto Rican Agenda, the new law allows DCEO to establish the necessary criteria and guidelines for designating cultural districts. Five such districts can be designated per year, up to a total of 15. The process will be overseen by a diverse advisory board, which Pacione-Zayas has been appointed to.

Last week’s event at the National Museum for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture was held to celebrate the new law.

“As we move into economic recovery from the pandemic, it is imperative that we recognize and invest in the rich cultural heritage of Illinois’ diverse communities,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Delia Ramirez, who sponsored the measure in the House. “This initiative will allow DCEO to help communities foster and preserve their distinct cultural legacies.”

Communities looking for state recognition under this law must meet certain criteria including:

  • A demonstrated risk of losing cultural identity due to gentrification, displacement, or the impact of COVID-19;
  • A history of economic disinvestment;
  • Strong support from community organizations and local and regional government officials.

The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

ScreeningEventCPZ2CHICAGO – After attending the launch of the Community First Medical Center’s Hereditary Cancer Screening Program, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D- Chicago) is encouraging people with a known family history of cancer to get screened through the new program.

“Modern technology has come a long way, and programs like this are revolutionary for identifying early signs of cancer,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Early identification is key to successful treatment, and I am excited to see how this new program helps people in our community.”

Community First Medical Center is a safety net hospital on the northwest side of Chicago offering a wide variety of acute and outpatient services. The hospital’s Outpatient Specialty Clinic has teamed up with Myriad Genetics, Inc. to offer MyRisk Hereditary Cancer Screenings to men and women who have a known personal or family history of cancer.

The event included over 30 patients who registered for testing based on their cancer risk and others who participated in walk-in appointments. The clinic plans to offer testing at future events on an ongoing basis moving forward. Screening can help people better understand the causes of cancer, allow for earlier identification at a more treatable stage, prevent secondary cancer and help people with the disease qualify for certain clinical trials.

“We are so grateful that Senator Pacione-Zayas personally visited our Outpatient Specialty Clinic today to help raise awareness in our community for cancer screenings,” said Mariela Hernandez, the Clinical Operations Managers of the Specialty Outpatient Clinic at Community First Medical Center. “Cancer screening rates amongst Latinos is far below the national average, and as a Latina, this needs to change.”

 For further information or to schedule a screening appointment, please contact Mariela Hernandez at 773-527-5071 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Category: Press Releases

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