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Statehouse daughter heads services to veterans

It’s not out of the ordinary for journalists to sometimes leave the profession and try something new. Especially when they feel a family connection urging them to enter into a divergent field of employment. That’s what happened to one local individual.

Boulder City old-timers will remember Mary Colleen O’Callaghan-Miele and her brother Tim O’Callaghan, co-managers of the former Boulder City News in the 1990s. They ran the newspaper for their father, Korean War veteran and former Gov. Mike O’Callaghan, who owned the paper with legendary Nevada journalist Hank Greenspun. (Full disclosure, I was the editor for several years.)

O’Callaghan-Miele said that while the local Veterans Administration works hard to help veterans, she recognized that some private non-government clinics can do as good a job and in many cases see patients much more quickly. To that end she founded HeadsUp Guidance and Wellness Centers of Nevada, a clinic that has served the general public for more than 15 years.

Recently the clinic was recognized by the Joint Commission, a nonprofit association that accredits more than 22,000 health care organizations and programs nationally.

With the recent accreditation in hand, the clinic has initiated an intensive outpatient program designed specifically to help veterans. While her clinic is in Las Vegas, veterans in Boulder City and elsewhere can obtain treatment via TeleHealth. O’Callaghan-Miele’s pedigree descends from her combat-veteran father who at various times was a member of the Army, Marines and Air Force, and who won a Bronze Star, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. While that in itself did not empower medical knowledge to his daughter, it inspired her to found her company that provides health and wellness, anger management, cognitive behavior therapy and other treatments that foster independence.

“My dad was not only a combat veteran, but after the military he was elected governor of Nevada,” she explained. “He lost a leg in the Korean War doing what he believed in. And he had shrapnel that took decades to be removed. But it was his unseen wounds and lasting trauma that inspired him to be a champion for mental health and service to veterans in the Silver State.”

O’Callaghan-Miele added that as governor, her father fought very hard to help Nevadans who needed it most. She said his attitude for service to others embedded itself into her psychological make-up. “It’s the mission of HeadsUp to inspire positive personal transformation and long-term recovery for veterans while at the same time encouraging hope and healing. We have experienced and compassionate clinicians with a focus on the highest quality care for our servicemen and women.” Journalists often write about clinical care. In her current role, former journalist O’Callaghan-Miele actually helps to provide it. She can be contacted at (702) 602-6714.

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