Tuesday, May 25, 2021  


CHICAGO – Illinois State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza and Marc Schulman, president of Eli’s Cheesecake Co., thanked health care workers at Alivio Medical Center in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood Tuesday for their work on vaccinating community residents and helping them through the COVID pandemic. 

“So many people died. So many of your family members died. I heard the story of the woman who vaccinated my mom. I think it was three of her family members in Mexico had already passed away. You showed resolve to make sure everybody had a chance at life. You are my heroes. I am so proud of you,” Mendoza told a room full of health care workers, recalling how well her 85-year-old, Mexican-born mother was treated when she was vaccinated at the clinic.  

“Everyone here spoke Spanish,” Mendoza said of the bilingual facility. “They treated her like a queen and not because she was my Mom – because that’s how every single senior that came in that day was being treated. They held her hand, gave her the vaccine, gave a goodie bag, the likes of which I hadn’t seen in years, with hand sanitizers and wipes and all the things you couldn’t find in stores.” 

Mendoza and Schulman passed out 250 slices of the Chicago-made delicacy donated by Eli’s to workers at both Alivio’s Pilsen and Berwyn locations.  

“We thank you for getting so many community members vaccinated; for keeping so many people healthy,” Schulman said. 

Former state Comptroller and Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka started the “Cheesecake Day” tradition 28 years ago, to encourage legislators of both parties to stop arguing for a day, and enjoy a slice of cheesecake together at the State Capitol in Springfield. 

“She always felt it was important to find areas where you agree, to build friendships and relationships, so you could get things done,” Mendoza said. 

COVID-19 restrictions have prevented Cheesecake Day in Springfield this legislative session, so Mendoza and Schulman decided, instead, to honor health care workers in Pilsen for showing true dedication through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cheesecake Day will return to the State Capitol next spring. 

Mendoza and Schulman were joined by Esther Corpuz, CEO of Alivio Medical Center; Dr. Jennifer Vargas, chief medical officer at Alivio; Susan Vega, senior services and program manager at Alivio; and Chicago Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th).

Mendoza and Alivio CEO Esther Corpuz released a Public Service Announcement urging community residents who have not yet been vaccinated to come to Alivio’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic, directly across the street from the Medical Center at 21st and Morgan Streets in Pilsen – with or without appointments – to be vaccinated with any of the three vaccines available.  

Alivio Medical Center is a bilingual, bicultural health clinic authorized to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Always consult with your doctor about your best health care options. To find a vaccine location near you, check with the Illinois Department of Public Health directory