Medical Advisory

Medical Symposia

PresentersSymposia to educate medical providers about prescription drug abuse and diversion were conducted at four locations across Kentucky this spring and drew 615 participants. These free “Kentucky Medical Communities UNITEd” forums – presented by the Appalachian Regional Commission, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, and Operation UNITE – were held in: Morehead (April 13) View photos, Paintsville (April 27), Bowling Green (May 11) View photos, and Manchester (June 8). Forums offered 4.5 Continuing Education credit hours.
Click here to learn more or take the free trainings on-line at CE Central.

Recognizing the importance of engaging the medical community in order to develop solutions to the problem of prescription drug abuse and diversion, UNITE formed a volunteer group of medical professionals to gather ideas and make recommendations to its Board of Directors.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Medical Advisory Council is to aid UNITE in the fight against drug abuse in our communities through a process of education, accountability, monitoring and continual re-evaluation of what we do together as medical professionals.

The Medical Advisory Council formally organized in April 2011 and is currently focusing on developing an education training program on prescription drug abuse for prescribers and dispensers. Council members hope to eventually make Continuing Education Units mandatory in Kentucky.

Meeting Schedule

The Medical Advisory Council meets every 4th Thursday of each month, 5:30 p.m., in the conference training room of the Big Sandy Area Development District, 100 Resource Drive, Prestonsburg.

Council Membership

The following officers were selected to serve through January 1, 2012:
Chair – Mitchell Wicker, MD, Hazard Clinic
Chair Support – Leslie Howell, SLP, Prestonsburg
Secretary – Libby Carter, RN, Department of Medicaid Services, Pikeville

The following members have agreed to serve a 1-year term on the Medical Advisory Council:
Rhonda Clark, CADC, Van Ark, Inc. of Pikeville and Prestonsburg
Leah Cobb, MD, Hazard ARH Psychiatric Center Medical Director
John Furcolow, MD, Veterans Administration Clinic
Carolyn Isaac, RN, Magoffin County Health Department
Philip Simpson, DC, Simpson Chiropractic, Prestonsburg
Annice Welch, Floyd County Health Department
Greg Miller, Lincoln Memorial University Medical Student
Sondra Stanley, Pharmacy Student

UNITE Staff Contact
Debbie Trusty, Education Director

Any medical professional interested in lending their expertise to the Medical Advisory Council and/or to aid Operation UNITE in the fight against drug abuse in our communities, is welcome to attend the monthly meetings or to be involved in programs.


Better utilization of the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, increasing education about the disease of addiction, and providing greater collaboration and communication on available resources were all short-term priorities identified during a medical symposium held in Hazard on March 6, 2010. The forum was co-sponsored by sOperation UNITE, the Kentucky Medical Association and the University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research

That meeting brought together more than 300 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, social workers, substance abuse counselors, adult care providers, coalition representatives and other professionals to address prescription drug abuse and workplace safety.

Following the symposium, several local medical professionals came together to form the volunteer Medical Advisory Council to formulate and implement action steps to assist in decreasing prescription drug abuse and diversion throughout the region.