In our “Voices of Veritas” series, we’re introducing you to Veritas team members that help fulfill our vision of a world in which all persons with eating disorders have access to best-practice care. These everyday heroes ensure that patients, their families, and their communities of support receive the proper tools, resources, and education to support a successful journey to recovery.
In this month’s edition, we meet Nai Hallman, RN, BSN, a Thailand native and nurse manager who passionately cares for those with eating disorders at the Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Center in Atlanta, Georgia. With nearly two decades of inpatient and outpatient pediatric nursing experience, Hallman draws on her vast experience in trauma, general pediatrics, cardiology, neurology, and psychiatry to provide outstanding patient care.
“I believe I have a special connection with every one of the patients that comes through this clinic,” said Hallman. “Recovery starts here at the clinic with proper diagnosis and patient education.”
And she’s absolutely right. Unfortunately, Hallman has seen eating disorders display in a variety of ways over the years – as cardiac-related defects, as athletic commitment, as cyclical vomiting – all because of symptomatic similarities. In fact, seeing how eating disorders can present as other illnesses motivated Hallman to create a protocol for patients affected by eating disorders during her time at Sibley Heart Center. She worked closely with a team that included Dr. Anna Tanner, a board-certified pediatrician who now leads the Veritas Collaborative Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Center in Atlanta. Hallman joined Dr. Tanner in her work at Veritas Collaborative soon after the Center opened in 2017.
Hallman now sees about 12 to 15 patients each day as she works diligently to educate and explain eating disorders to patients and families at the only specialized center of its kind in the state of Georgia. Eating disorders are often tricky and many patients are unfamiliar with their complexities. Working with families to help them understand the intricacies can be both challenging and rewarding.
“I see the progression of these patients and it’s like watching your kids grow and thrive. Even when things seem discouraging, there is always hope. I won’t give up on these kids – and that’s what keeps me going.”