Faculty

Donna Hallas headshot

Donna M Hallas

CPNP FAANP PhD PMHS PPCNP-BC

Clinical Professor
Program Director, Pediatrics NP

1 212 998 5295

433 First Avenue
Room 526
New York, NY 10010
United States

expand all

collapse all

Professional overview

Donna Hallas, CPNP, FAANP, PMHS, PPCNP-BC, PhD, is director of the Pediatrics NP Program and a clinical professor at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and pediatric mental health specialist. Her research focus is on improving healthcare outcomes for pediatric patients. Hallas is also a faculty scholar of the International Qualitative Institute at Alberta, Canada. She is a fellow of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She maintains a practice as a PNP in primary care for high-risk children. At NYU Meyers, she prepares pediatric nurse practitioner students to provide quality health care services for infants, children, adolescents and young adults within a family-centered framework.

Hallas has presented at national and international conferences on the implementation of evidence-based practice in ambulatory pediatric healthcare centers. She has presented the results of a randomized controlled trial to improve the social-emotional development of toddlers and improve maternal confidence in caring for toddlers at research conferences. She presented a qualitative study on the social and emotional development of adolescents whose mothers died during their pre-teen and teenage years. She implemented a funded study on oral health care for newborns and young children. She worked collaboratively with dental faculty to improve the oral health care of children from diverse populations. She is published in peer-reviewed journals on the oral healthcare needs of young children and has designed a new approach for oral health assessment in office-based practices regarding young children. She was a content expert for the American Academy of Pediatrics for the design of a web-based program for pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and all primary care providers on oral health assessments, management, and referrals for children and adolescents to improve the oral healthcare and status of this population. Hallas also served as an expert panel member for the systematic evaluation of oral health programs through a grant from Robert Woods Johnson.

Among her many honors, Hallas received the 2016 AANP Award for Excellence in Clinical Practice (New York State) and the Nurse Practitioner of the Year from the Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island.

Hallas earned her PhD from Adelphi University, MSs from the State University of New York and Indiana University, and BSs from Adelphi University and the University of Hartford. 

Education

PhD - Adelphi University (1999)
MS - State University of New York (1991)
MS - Indiana University (1979)
BS - Adelphi University (1990)
BS - University of Hartford (1974)
Diploma - St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing (1971)

Specialties

Primary care
Pediatric
Mental health

Professional membership

American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Faculties
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Greater New York Chapter of NAPNAP
International Institute of Qualitative Methodology
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty
Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter and Upsilon Chapter

Honors and awards

Faculty Honors Awards

Award for Excellence, American Association of Nurse Practitioners New York State (2016)
Distinguished Educator Award, NYU College of Dentistry (2012)
Nelms-Miller Editorial Award, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (2011)
Fellow, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (2011)
Nurse Practitioner of the Year, Nurse Practitioner Association of Long Island (2010)
Award for Excellence in Education Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter (2009)
President's Outstanding Contribution Team Award, Pace University NCLEX Success Team (2006)
Presidents Award for Excellence for the Manuscript, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (2003)
Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership, Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter (1993)
Fellow, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (1991)
Winning Essay, Health and Public Affairs Scholarship (1990)
Honors Graduate, Adelphi University (1990)
Induction Sigma Theta Tau, Kappa Gamma Chapter, International Honor Society for Nurses (1990)

Publications

Publications

Critiquing Research Evidence for Use in Practice: Revisited

Dale, J. C., Hallas, D., & Spratling, R. (2019). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 33(3), 342-346. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2019.01.005
Abstract
Nurse practitioners need to critically appraise the abundance of research evidence and clinical practice guidelines to make astute decisions about the implementation of the best available evidence to clinical practice. There are numerous ways to appraise research and practice guidelines that are designed to inform clinical practice with the overall goals of improving patient outcomes. This article presents existing tools to appraise the research evidence in addition to a guide for providers on critical appraisal of a research study.

Traditional and Nontraditional Collaborations to Improve Population Health Using Geospatial Information SystemMaps: Analysis of the Opioid Crisis

Hallas, D., Klar, R., Baldyga, J. A., Rattner, I., Waingortin, R., & Fletcher, J. (2019). Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2018.10.006
Abstract
Introduction: The study aims were to analyze interprofessional practice collaborations among traditional and nontraditional health care providers and to educate nurse practitioner preceptors and students on population health, specifically, implementation of geospatial information system (GIS) maps and the correlation with the opioid crisis. Methods: A descriptive analysis was used to examine New York State data on the opioid crisis in comparison to outcome data from GIS maps of opioid use in two boroughs in New York City. Web-based modules were designed for analysis of GIS maps of opioid use near practice settings. Results: New York State data provided context for local opioiduse, while GIS maps identified specific areas of the New York City boroughs that were most affected by the opioid epidemic. Discussion: The importance of local GIS maps is that the information is available in real-time, and thus interventions can be designed, evaluated, and changed quickly to meet the immediate needs of the community.

Behavioral pediatric healthcare for nurse practitioners: A growth and developmental approach to intercepting abnormal behaviors

Hallas, D. (2018). 10.1891/9780826116819
Abstract
This book uses a developmental approach to behavioral health for the entire pediatric population. Each section of this book is dedicated to the traditional developmental ages. Each opening chapter within the specific developmental age provides information for pediatric primary care providers to assess, identify, and intercept potential behavioral health problems through the use of a developmental approach to behavioral health assessments (infants, toddlers, preschool-age children, school-age children, and adolescents,). Assessment, screening, intervention, and treatment strategies are provided through analysis of the best available evidence by experts in the field of pediatric practice. Cutting-edge topics written by experts in the fields of pediatric primary care and pediatric behavioral health are highlighted in this book and include: infant brain development and outcomes from ineffective parenting; social determinants of health and effect on behavioral health; building resiliency in children; infant depression; behavioral problems in children with inborn errors of metabolism; autism, global developmental delays, and genetic syndromes; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and comorbidities. The topics also include bullying social media and behavioral health; eating disorders; the autistic adolescent in residential treatment facilities; child behaviors within military families; foster care; toxic stress; trauma-informed care; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adolescent; and holistic and integrative care, and holistic care, integrative medicine, and behavioral health. Within each developmental section, there are case studies that provide exemplary practices for assessing, diagnosing, and evaluating children presented with the particular behavioral health problem. Case studies include the following topics: failure to thrive in infancy; infant colic; toilet training; sleep disorders in children with autistic spectrum disorder and ADHD; toddler impulsive behaviors; nail biting; and adolescent substance abuse.

Case study

Dalina, K., Katinas, M. E., Ashmawi, S. M., & Hallas, D. (2018). 10.1891/9780826116819.0028
Abstract
This chapter discusses the case study of adolescent with a substance use disorder. Confidentiality is defined as an agreement between patient and provider that information discussed during the encounter will not be shared with other parties without patient permission. A confidentiality statement must be provided to adolescents at every healthcare visit. The confidentiality statement assures adolescents that information provided to the pediatric primary care provider (P-PCP) during the office visit is a standard of care that supports full disclosure and trust between the adolescent and the P-PCP, without punitive consequences for the adolescent. P-PCPs must be knowledgeable about the laws in the state in which they practice to provide accurate information to the adolescents with admitted substance use problems. The key to intercepting these behaviors is effective office-based screenings and an immediate intervention with prompt referral to treatment and interprofessional collaborative initiatives at the national, state, and local community levels.

Identifying and intercepting behavioral health problems in infancy

Hallas, D. (2018). 10.1891/9780826116819.0006
Abstract
Infancy is a wonderful time for healthy parents and healthy infants to grow together within healthy home and community environments that support the social-emotional development of infants, thus establishing the foundation for lifelong behavioral and mental health. Pediatric primary care providers (P-PCPs) must acknowledge the paradigm shift to attain behavioral health for all by viewing behavioral health as beginning at the moment of conception and existing on a continuum throughout the life span, delicately balancing between behavioral/mental health and well-being versus behavioral health disorders/mental illness and malady. This chapter examines, analyzes, and evaluates the best available evidence to identify and intercept behavioral health problems prior to conception, post-delivery, and during the first year of life. P-PCPs must assess the mother-infant bonding and attachment relationship, maternal nurturing behaviors, and maternal responses to the infant, as well as the infant’s social-emotional developmental patterns, at every primary care encounter.

Infant depression

Hallas, D. (2018). 10.1891/9780826116819.0007
Abstract
Infant depression has been studied as a phenomenon within psychology and psychiatry since the early 1970s. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders (fifth edition; DSM-5) eliminated the terminology “disorders usually classified in infancy, childhood, and adolescence” and classified them as neurodevelopmental disorders removing infantile depression as a discrete condition. Pediatric primary care providers (P-PCPs) who provide care to infants need to be familiar with the best available evidence for recognizing signs of infantile depression to avoid missing the opportunity for early recognition of this problem. Recognizing the signs of infant and/or maternal depression affords the opportunity for P-PCPs to implement strategies to intercept negative emotional infant development to positive emotional outcomes. This chapter discusses research on infant depression, signs and symptoms of infantile depression, and provides strategies to enable mothers and other caregivers to actively engage the emotional development of infants throughout the first year of life.

Intercepting behavioral health problems

Hallas, D. (2018). 10.1891/9780826116819.0001
Abstract
The overarching goal for providing behavioral and mental health services in pediatric primary care settings is to provide immediate and effective services to children, adolescents, and their families to change the course from potential adverse behavioral health outcomes to supportive positive directions in growth and developmental behavioral health. This textbook provides an analysis of evidence-based behavioral health practices to foster growth and developmental behavioral health through early behavioral health screenings and assessments with the goal of intercepting behavioral development and characteristics that are not within the “norm” of pediatric and adolescent development. The conceptual model for Intercepting Behavioral Health problems focuses on identifying the very earliest presentation of even one symptom that may lead to a behavioral health problem and immediately beginning the process for intercepting the potential problem with evidence-based treatments. Pediatric primary care providers play a unique role in caring for children with behavioral health problems.

Social-Emotional Development of Toddlers: Randomized Controlled Trial of an Office-Based Intervention

Hallas, D., Koslap-Petraco, M., & Fletcher, J. (2016). Journal of Pediatric Nursing. 10.1016/j.pedn.2016.11.004
Abstract
Purpose: During the toddler years, temper tantrums and impulsive behaviors are the norm. These behaviors can frustrate even the most experienced mothers. Design and Methods: A prospective, double blind, randomized controlled trial using pre-test/post-test experimental design was used to examine the effectiveness of an office-based educational program to improve maternal confidence and the social-emotional development of toddlers. The Toddler Care Questionnaire (TCQ) was administered to all mothers as a pre and post intervention test. The treatment intervention was a videotaped (DVD) parenting skills intervention on the social-emotional development of toddlers and on maternal confidence in caring for toddlers. Results: Sixty mothers and 60 toddlers entered the study with 29 mothertoddler dyads randomized to the treatment group and 31 to the control group. Twenty-six (26) mother-toddler dyads in the treatment and 25 mother-toddler dyads in the control group completed the study. Pairwise comparisons of adjusted means showed significant improvements for both toddler groups on the Brigance toddler screen, and no statistically significant difference in gains between the groups. The mixed model results for the TCQ showed an overall significant improvement from preto post-test, and a non-significant interaction between group and time indicting no significant difference in gains seen by treatment groups. Conclusions: Brief educational programs on DVD's are an efficient way to offer information to mothers while in the office waiting area. Practice Implications: Pediatric nurses who encounter mothers who struggle with caring for their toddlers may find brief-office based interventions a valuable tool for educating parents.

Haber et al. respond

Haber, J., Hartnett, E., Allen, K., Hallas, D., Dorsen, C., Lange-Kessler, J., Lloyd, M., Thomas, E., & Wholihan, D. (2015). American Journal of Public Health, 105(5), e3-e4. 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302648

Management of a child with nutritional rickets, multiple cavities, enamel hypoplasia, and reactive attachment disorder

Hallas, D., Herman, N. G., Benichou, L., Morales, E. L., & Touchette, L. (2015). Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 29(3), 283-288. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2014.11.010