Northwest Health, Arkansas: Another Behavioral Health Employee Charged with Felony Patient Abuse

May 1, 2023

Another Northwest Medical Center employee charged with abusing a patient was arraigned in Washington County circuit court on March 27.

Isaiah Morris, 53, was the second Northwest Medical Center employee who was under the supervision of Rogers psychiatrist Dr. Brian T. Hyatt to be arraigned within the last week.

Collyn Harlan, 28, was charged with one felony count of abuse of an endangered or impaired person and he was arraigned in Washington County circuit court on March 22.

Former Northwest Health employee arraigned on abuse charge

Hyatt had his Medicaid billing privileges suspended on February 24 after the Arkansas Office of Medicaid Inspector General Elizabeth Smith reported allegations of fraud against the psychiatrist. He was also named as a defendant in multiple civil suits by former patients alleging him of false imprisonment, assault and other criminal acts.

Morris was represented by a court-appointed attorney at his March 27 arraignment hearing. He is charged with two counts of abuse of an adult endangered or impaired person, one of which is a class D felony.

Two of fraud suspect doctor’s former employees arrested on abuse charges

A felony information sheet for Morris filed in Washington County circuit court on March 3 said that he “purposely abused an adult endangered person and the abuse caused physical injury including rib fractures.” The second count was for purposeful abuse in slapping the victim across the face.

That incident was not documented on the patient’s chart or reported to hospital administration or other staff. During an internal investigation interview, the Northwest Medical Center Human Resources director said that the victim “was not a physical threat to anyone, and there was no justification for slapping him.”

Rogers doctor in Medicaid fraud investigation also sued twice for false imprisonment, assault, more charges

The civil suits filed against Hyatt in Washington County circuit court also named Northwest Arkansas Hospitals and multiple other unidentified hospital personnel as defendants. A Northwest Health spokesperson confirmed that Morris has not worked there since April 2022.

Morris pleaded not guilty and a trial date was scheduled for August 15. He was released on a $5,000 bond.

Source: C.C. McCandless, “Another former Northwest Health employee arraigned on criminal charges,” KNWA (Arkansas), Mar. 29, 2023, URL:  


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