Tell us about yourself!
My name is Haleigh Stanley and I am the Hospital Education Manager at the Atlanta Hospital. I have been with Veritas Collaborative since July 2020, so almost two years now!
Describe the career path that led you to Veritas Collaborative.
I went to college at the University of Dayton (go Flyers!) for Middle Childhood Education. I was a teacher for five years and worked with students ages 10 to 14 in varying subject areas, including math, science, English, and special education.
I moved to Atlanta in the middle of COVID and started job searching. I had my heart really focused on a place where I would get to work with adolescents, but also allowed more flexibility and mental health focus than a traditional classroom job. I started as an Education Coordinator at Veritas Collaborative here in Atlanta in 2020 and discovered a new love for healthcare education. I graduated with my Master’s in Health Leadership and moved into the Education Manager position in August 2021.
What motivates you to show up for work each day?
Our patients and my colleagues, 100%. Our patients are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the chance to know. Their resilience and willingness to dive into the hard work that is recovery is truly inspiring. Many of our patients are high-achieving, very academically driven students, so it is incredible to be able to help assist with one of their biggest barriers to treatment: school! I love getting to chat with parents and seeing the relief on their faces when I tell them, “I’m here to handle all the stress of school for you, so you can focus on getting your child healthy and home to you.” You can almost see the stress melt off them. It is an absolute blessing to be able to serve our patients and their families and ensure that their main focus can be healing the eating disorder.
I am also lucky to work with some of the most wonderful providers Atlanta has to offer. From our medical staff to our dietitians, therapists, and education coordinators to our frontline and culinary staff, everyone is committed to working together to support our patients and families as they continue fighting the good fight. I have been able to learn so much from those around me and I continue to develop professionally and personally each day.
What one thing do you wish everyone knew about eating disorders?
I wish everyone knew that an eating disorder is a complex, biopsychosocial condition that affects each and every part of your life. In addition, it often presents hand in hand with comorbidities such as depression, anxiety, and various mood disorders. Therefore, the underlying cause of the disorder itself is much more complex than body dysmorphia alone. That is why I love the holistic model of care that Veritas Collaborative utilizes to ensure that patients are supported in all aspects of their treatment, from dietetic and psychological needs to medical and educational needs.
What piece of advice would you give to those struggling with eating disorders?
The main thing I always try to remind patients and families is the fact that recovery is not a linear process. You will have good days and bad days and that is perfectly okay. It is also okay to ask for help. The residential days of recovery can be especially difficult. There are going to be days when you don’t feel ready and don’t want to let go of the eating disorder. I always tell patients that those days are what your team is for (whether that’s your clinical team at the hospital or your community of support in outpatient care). Your team can speak truth into your thoughts about your worth and value when internally you are struggling to believe them.