About Miramar Health

At Miramar Health, our veterans’ health and happiness are our top priorities. We strive to incorporate a combination of treatment modalities we designed to provide accountability, structure, and compassion. We are here to guide you through early sobriety and help you avoid some of the difficulties and pitfalls that are at risk of being experienced along the way.

Our
Mission:

To free veterans from America’s mental health and addiction crisis and empower them to create a better future for themselves and their families.

Message from the Owner

My name is Tom Sauer, and I’m the founder of Miramar Health.  More importantly, I am an 18-year Navy and Marine Corps Veteran. Not only did I spend most of my adult life wearing the cloth of this nation, but I also witnessed the despair and havoc wreaked by addiction and mental illness through the loss of my father days before shipping off to boot camp more than twenty years ago.

That’s why when it comes to our Veterans, we have real skin in the game. Not only are we Veteran owned and operated, but we are also focused exclusively on the unique needs of America’s Veterans under attack during our country’s addiction and mental health crisis. A substantial portion of our team consists of members from all services… We’ve been there.

Just as importantly, our team includes some of the very best and most experienced clinicians in America, including psychologists, physicians, therapists, nurses, and EMTs. Together, we provide the highest quality, top-tier mental health and addiction treatment available, all in a close, family-like environment.

I am exceptionally proud of the team we’ve assembled and the treatment we provide, and I think you will be as well.

How it Works

Call

With a brief phone call, one of our treatment specialists can guide you or a loved one through the brief and confidential admission process. We’ll answer all of your questions, and gain a better understanding of your personal situation to confirm that we’re the right program for you.

Virtual Tour

We invite you and any loved ones to virtually tour our facility and meet with our Program Director to get a first-hand look at our accommodations and better understand our program.

 

Get Started

After the tour we will schedule your arrival, arrange payment options with you, and work with your insurance company to provide them with proper medical and treatment information in order to apply for reimbursement. We’ll also provide you a list of recommended items to bring to treatment, as well as make ourselves available to you for any additional information and support.

Way of Life at Miramar Health

Morning
Midday
Evening

Upon arising, our clients prepare themselves and their personal space for the day. Following a light breakfast, most days they go to the gym or the beach for an hour or so of client-directed exercise. Clients spend the remainder of the morning in individual treatment and/or group therapy/treatment sessions.

  • Breakfast
  • Morning Motivation
  • Therapy/ Treatment

Following lunch, our clients resume their individual and/or group therapy sessions. Upon returning, they shower, get a nutritional snack, if desired, and they spend the remainder of the morning in individual treatment and/or group therapy/treatment sessions.

  • Lunch
  • Exercise
  • Therapy/Treatment

After dinner, our clients attend off-campus meetings, lectures, and other events, until they return and ready themselves for retiring for the day. Physician appointments, private time, family therapy, necessary errands, and other activities are interspersed, as scheduled, throughout the daily schedule.

  • Dinner
  • Off Campus Meetings
  • Errands

The Miramar Health Team

Tom Sauer

CEO and Founder

A graduate of the US Naval Academy and an 18-year Navy and Marine Corps Veteran, behavioral health became a deep passion of Tom’s following the loss of his father to a meth overdose after decades of struggle with mental illness and addiction, just like so many millions of Americans suffering from our country’s disastrous mental health and addiction crisis. During his time as a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer, Tom trained and readied his team of Special Operations EOD Operators to locate and deal with terrorist nuclear weapons. He and his team deployed as the Western Pacific’s Crisis Response Force, in concert with US Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, Joint Special Operations Command, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.  His team worked directly with the highest levels of the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, The White House, and several “other” government organizations. As a former Navy Lieutenant Commander from one of the most selective, demanding, and dangerous career fields on earth, Tom’s passion shifted to an even more deadly threat to America’s Veterans: Our mental health, addiction, and suicide crisis. Today, Miramar Health’s incredible team saves lives and relieves human suffering on a daily basis, and there’s no better group of Americans needing it more than our own Veterans. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the US Naval Academy, and graduate degrees from UCLA and the National University of Singapore.

Colin Myers

CFO

Colin Myers serves as CFO for MacArthur Group and Miramar Health. Colin is a Navy veteran, having served as a submarine officer and US Navy nuclear engineer. During his 9 years in the Navy, Colin served in demanding roles supervising the operations of a nuclear power plant and nuclear weapons security. In these roles, Colin experienced firsthand the impact of stressful working conditions on the mental health of service members, including depression and suicide. In his civilian roles, Colin is committed to helping foster environments where staff and clients receive the help, healing, and restoration they need to thrive. Prior to joining Miramar, Colin gained experience in multiple industries including serving as President of Anthem Wealth Management, VP of Department of Defense Sales for Comtech Systems, Inc., and Senior Financial Analyst for Darden Restaurants. Colin has a passion for helping others best steward their resources. He lives in Clermont, FL with his wife and three children and enjoys studying theology, and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, table tennis, and nano-aquaculture. Colin received his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy and his MBA from Rollins College.

Dennis Hough

COO

Dennis has 25+ years of experience in a multitude of multidisciplinary companies in roles of executive leadership, operations management, and growth strategy. Dennis is a results-oriented leader who has successfully guided a multitude of organizations & leadership teams through strategic growth and expansion.  Besides strong leadership skills, his strategic systems approach, extensive industry experience and passion for building high-performing teams have attributed to his success in growing domestic and international businesses in both service-based sectors and manufactured products. Dennis also has a strong background in systems engineering, quality systems, and continuous improvement including ISO 9000, NQA-1, EOS, Lean Principles, and as a Six Sigma Black Belt. Dennis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Dr. Christine Curtis

Executive Director

A dynamic leader and award-winning business strategist, Dr. Christine Curtis brings years of industry experience in behavioral health care to her role at Miramar Health as Executive Director. She earned her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from JFK University and her Master’s in Behavioral Science from Kean University. As Executive Director, she develops and implements effective, evidence-based programs of care and leads the organization in strategic planning and growth initiatives.  With 20+ years of clinical experience in addiction, co-occurring disorders, and mental health, Dr. Curtis provides contagious passion and energy in leading the organization. Her dedication to increased operational efficiency and customer engagement encourages new levels of organizational excellence focused on a comprehensive continuum of rehabilitative care. Before joining Miramar Health, she spent time in multiple leadership positions overseeing operations for inpatient psychiatric hospitals, residential programs, outpatient programs, and psychiatric emergency services. Dr. Curtis has dedicated her career to being of service to others, creating a therapeutic environment where every person can experience compassionate care and can access the most effective and cutting-edge treatment options available.

Dr. Joseph DeSanto

Medical Director

Dr. DeSanto has over 25 years of experience in Addiction Medicine and joined Miramar as the Medical Director in 2021. He oversees our medical staff and develops detox protocols to ensure the safety and comfort of patients. Dr. DeSanto received his Undergraduate degree from Lafayette College in Easton PA and obtained his MD from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn NY.  He completed his Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles CA. Dr. DeSanto is board certified in Internal Medicine and has practiced  Addiction Medicine for over 15 years.  He specializes in detox and has worked with several Drug and Alcohol treatment centers, holding various titles and treating thousands of patients in residential and acute levels of care. He has also worked in private practice since 2012.

Dr. DeSanto’s recovery journey and the doctors caring for him in treatment led him to this work. He saw an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives who need a unique type of physician and treatment in the relatively new specialty of addiction medicine. The gratitude of his patients and knowing that their recovery helps the whole family begin healing from the disease of addiction is what he finds most rewarding about this work. In his free time, Dr. DeSanto enjoys traveling, spending time with family, hiking, golfing, biking, and practicing yoga and Transcendental Meditation. Sobriety is at the core of his life, and he protects it above all else. Dr. DeSanto is active in his 12-step community, sponsors other members, and attends meetings several times a week.

Basharat Khan

Clinical Director

As Clinical Director at Miramar Health, Basharat's aim has been to increase awareness and empathy toward helping veterans that suffer from substance abuse. His role and experiences have granted him gratitude, as he passionately works toward operating and building a program that intends to launch struggling veterans into life by means of helping them accomplish their physical, safety, belongingness, and esteem needs. He is dedicated to fostering a safe environment that is intended to improve a veteran’s chances of breaking the cycle and developing a healthy lifestyle.

David Pham

Nursing Supervisor

David brings five years of medical experience to Miramar Health. David has a strong work ethic and always strives to enhance the value and quality of patient care by working with integrity, honesty, and respect. He began his career as a medical assistant but wanted to do more good for his patients and provide more comprehensive and client-focused care. David went back to school to become a nurse and has since poured his dedication to treatment and care into helping each of our patients take their first steps toward their new lives.

Brendan Dowling

Veteran Outreach

As Miramar’s Veteran Outreach Manager, Brendan’s efforts focus on community engagement and raising Veteran awareness of available resources that will help them forge their own path to a free and positive future.  Brendan’s prior Naval career as a Development Group SEAL Chief and Combat Medic fuel his passion to continue service and meet Veteran’s where they are to expose them to the tools available for self-improvement. Post Naval service, Brendan leveraged his VA Education Benefits to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of San Diego. He then joined Tom’s team at Miramar to lock horns with the addiction and mental health crisis plaguing Veterans.

David McRill

Client Relations Manager

David has 10 years of experience in the SUD field as a case manager director, and his passion for working with addiction stems from his own journey in recovery. After getting sober, he obtained a master’s degree in clinical psychology and began working with substance use and co-occurring disorders after a 12-year career in corporate sales. David's role as Client Relations Manager combines his experience in the substance abuse field with his time in corporate sales. His enthusiasm and passion for helping people and their families suffering from substance abuse and co-occurring issues supports Miramar’s mission to provide the best care possible for veterans and their families.

Elizabeth Hagen

Operations Manager

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hagen is the Operations Manager at Miramar. She started in October 2021 as a Client Advisor, working her way up to Shift Lead, and then Facility Manager. Hard work, teamwork, and dedication landed her in her current role among leadership in the operations department. Lizzie brings a wealth of experience and education in coaching and management, holding a master's degree in coaching sciences from the University of the Pacific. She is driven by her passion for serving the veteran community to assist with giving Miramar’s clients the best possible resources and tools for healing in all areas of their lives. Lizzie is self-described as a human glue stick building and strengthening relationships and team cohesion around her. While she holds high expectations for excellence, she aspires to bring joy, smiles, and laughter to all those she encounters throughout each day, always leading with love.

Jean Rose Pana

Compliance Officer

Jean Rose Pana has over 10 years of experience in mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities as a program developer and clinical leader.  After graduating with her master’s degree in counseling psychology, she went on to become a therapist in Los Angeles.  She then brought her experiences and skills home to Orange County and quickly became a Program Director. Jean Rose has demonstrated proven ability to add value through proactive decision making, strategic planning including heavy community psychoeducation, engaging and leading multidisciplinary teams.  She strives for optimum performance through trust and consensus across an organization towards best clinical outcomes for clients of all ages and job fulfillment for staff of all levels.  Jean Rose prioritizes ethical practice, investing in people, lifelong learning, and compliance to the standards of CARF, DCHS, and JCAHO.

Joseph Blanco

Director of Operations

Joseph is passionate about working with individuals to reach their fullest recovery potential. He has experience working with youth and adults, families, individuals and groups. In recent years he has worked with specialty populations including veterans, individuals struggling with substance abuse, those struggling with co-occurring disabilities, families impacted by substance abuse, & individuals in big life transitions.  He says, “Because we are on this journey together, I will want to hear about where you’ve been and where you want to go. You can expect that we’ll take some detours, hit a few bumps in the road, find unexpected treasures and laugh with each other along the way. Together, we’ll get somewhere that neither of us would have reached alone.” Joseph leads the company’s day to day operations and oversees the company’s ongoing expansion efforts into the emerging field and shares, “I genuinely care about this company and growing Miramar Health into the benchmark facility in our field.”

Kianah Penn

Executive Assistant

Kianah Penn is the Executive Assistant at Miramar Health.  She started in December 2022 as the Front Desk Reception.  Her hard work and understanding of the field lead her to become the assistant to the leadership team and also to have the opportunity to work hand in hand with the HR department.  Kianah has been in the field for 7 years and is currently completing her counseling certification.  She has great knowledge in the field and is driven to help the clients form a healthier and better lifestyle and is an advocate for the employees.  She aspires to make a difference with every individual she gets the opportunity to meet.

Tim Mayo

Information Technology Manager

Tim Mayo, Information Technology Manager, has been with Miramar since November 2021 and brings 26 years of IT experience to the organization. Tim holds multiple certifications with effuses in Networking, Administration, and Project Management. Born and raised in Southern California, he is married with two adult children and enjoys camping and dirt bike riding.

Steven Montes

Admissions specialist

After graduating with his bachelor's degree in psychology, David built his career across several industries such as business development, relationship management, corporate recruiting, counseling, and now mental health and addiction. Joining the team at Miramar was the next and best step towards advancing his career in this industry. His previous experience as a Mental Health Specialist brings a clinical perspective to Miramar’s Admissions and Business Development team.

Jordan Allen

Admissions Specialist

Jordon has been with Miramar since October of 2021 and started his journey working in the transportation department. While in this role, he learned a great deal about the healthcare industry and how vital a part he can play in someone’s journey towards recovery. He is a strong supporter of Miramar's mission and the importance placed on serving and treating Veterans with the highest quality care possible, as these men and women have sacrificed so much for their country. He is honored and humbled to be working with such a phenomenal team of professionals in a highly focused, mission-driven organization.

Locations

Laguna Beach

Laguna Hills

Newport Beach

Mission Viejo

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