PRESTONSBURG – More than a dozen providers of medical services are one step closer to formalizing an advisory council to the Operation UNITE Board of Directors.

The group, representing a broad range of healthcare professions, met Thursday, March 3, to begin finalizing a short-term, action-oriented physician education plan focused on fighting prescription drug abuse throughout southern and eastern Kentucky.

In addition, participants discussed expectations for formal council membership along with fine-tuning the group’s statement of purpose.

Final actions on these measures could come as early as the group’s next meeting on Thursday, April 14.

To view photos from the meeting click here.

“Any medical professional interested in lending their expertise to the Medical Advisory Council is welcome to attend,” noted Karen Kelly, director of UNITE. “We are seeking concerned individuals to be ambassadors for their medical fields and take active ownership in crafting both short-term and long-term strategies related to this area’s substance abuse problem.”

The Council meeting will be held in the conference room of the Big Sandy Area Development District, 100 Resource Drive, Prestonsburg. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. with the business meeting beginning at 6 p.m.

There is no charge for dinner, but an RSVP is requested to Sarah Flynn, UNITE director for Research and Community Outreach, at 1-866-678-6483 or

Last month the group heard from John Eadie, director for the national Prescription Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University, and representatives from the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER) system.