Patients and friends pay for billboard ad to show support for Harrison doctor

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HARRISON, Ark. - Patients and friends of a Harrison doctor are taking their support to new heights.

North Arkansas Regional Medical Center told Dr. Marcus Causey he no longer can deliver babies there, leaving pregnant patients up in arms.

Supporters of Causey have gone from making T-shirts that say "#CauseyCorner," to a billboard.

The electronic billboard advertisement appears 540 times a day, and cost $350 a month.

Kelsy Lasater, a patient of Dr. Causey's, said, "He's very well loved in our community. He's a very good doctor."

Dozens of people in support of Causey donated to advertise on that billboard.

Causey works at CrossRoads Medical Clinic, is employed by Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, and delivered babies at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center. He has delivered more than 2,400 babies.

Bobby Brandenburg said Dr. Causey delivered his son, "My son was born dead, and within two minutes he had him back up and going."

In a letter to Causey, the hospital says he failed to provide appropriate care in three different situations under review, and they revoked his privileges. Two of those cases had already been reviewed and were determined to be "no risk" to the patient.

Pat Singleterry, of Harrison, said, "It breaks my heart to see him the way he is right now because he cares for his patients so much."

Causey filed a temporary restraining order against the hospital to allow him to deliver babies at the hospital until he has a hearing and the final decision is made. He and his lawyer said the hospital should have given him a hearing before they revoked his privileges.

Details of peer reviews are confidential, but people want answers.

Jane Edwards, of Harrison, said, "We need to continue to ask that question because the hospital owes Dr. Causey an answer and this community an answer."

Some people believe the competition between Washington Regional and North Arkansas Regional is the underlying reason why Causey's privileges were revoked. And Washington Regional is conducting its own investigation.

Supporters of Causey said they don't plan on slowing down any time soon.

"We're in it for the long haul," Jackson said.

They plan to keep the billboard up until the money runs out.

In a statement, the Board of Directors for North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, said: "We are ultimately responsible for the operations of the hospital and its staff. We also have a responsibility to the citizens of this community to ensure all laws, processes and procedures are followed and decisions are made in the best interest for the health of
those in the community.

There are extensive processes in place, dictated by Arkansas state law, that govern how medical staff peer review is conducted. Medical staff peer review is the process by which physicians are required to review the work of other physicians to make sure quality practices are followed. The current case under review and widely discussed in the community is in the early stages of that process. We cannot comment on the
specifics of that case. However, the Board respects and upholds the integrity of the review process and the doctors involved in it. This process has served our hospital well in our mission to ensure the care administered at North Arkansas Regional Medical Center is of the utmost quality.

The Board recognizes and appreciates the doctors, nurses, staff and administration of North Arkansas Regional Medical Center for their commitment to providing quality care in our community. We will continue to support all employees and physicians, and uphold the integrity of the peer review process. We ask that rather than relying
on the court of public opinion in this situation, you allow those with medical and legal knowledge of the case to administer the review process and determine the best course of action.

You have our commitment that we will continue to follow the peer review process as prescribed by law in all cases."

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.