Dr. Stacey Goldstein-Dwyer has gone from the military to an award-winning business owner.

Goldstein-Dwyer’s idea to create a one-stop shop for mental health needs was born the day she left the Army in November of 2016. In 2018, GD Psych Services opened in Rio Rancho.

In March, GD Psych Services CEO Goldstein-Dwyer was named the Small Business Association 2023 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year award winner.

Goldstein-Dwyer had no intentions of following her family’s footsteps into the military but during the process of getting an American Psychological Association internship, she learned the Army needed mental health professionals in its ranks.

“I found out that the army was trying to switch up mental health to kind of minimize the stigma,” Goldstein-Dwyer said. “And so the idea was they would have a psychologist embedded within the brigade. So they would train with them, they would deploy with them, they would do everything with their group. And I was like, wow, that is such an amazing idea.”

After a stint in the Army, Goldstein-Dwyer started her business almost immediately.

Goldstein-Dwyer sees a vast range of individuals of all ages and backgrounds.(Courtesy of Dr. Stacey Goldstein-Dwyer)

“I started GD Psych services on the way here from my duty site,” Goldstein-Dwyer said. “So we were in the car, I was talking to my husband about how much I wanted to open up a practice that met the community’s needs, a one-stop shop. And he kind of laughed and said, Yeah, I’d like to see that happen. And I said, you watch me. So I got right on my phone and set up an LLC.”

GD Psych Services truly is a one-stop shop, offering pretty much any type of service or treatment imaginable.

“We offer a lot more psychiatric or psychological services. A lot of people if they go to a place, they only specialize in kids or they specialize in trauma or just see adults or whatever that might be. And I wanted a place where everybody could come and get help,” Goldstein-Dwyer said. “So we treat children and adults, geriatric, we see anything from anxiety to schizophrenia. We do evaluation. So we do neuro-psychological evaluations to assess for things like ADHD, autism, dementia, trauma, traumatic brain injury. I mean, you think about it, we can do it.”

GD Psych Services also offers psychological testing, academic testing, forensic evaluations, medication management. Equine therapy is also offered and the Rio Rancho clinic has two therapy dogs.

Goldstein-Dwyer said her interest in psychology began at a young age through her interest in forensics.

“I was into serial killers, and why are they doing this and why are they doing that,” Goldstein-Dwyer said. “And that’s what my mission was, to get a doctorate in forensic psychology and do forensic testing. But throughout my career, I realized I was more I was interested in not just forensics, but neuro-psychological stuff as well. And so I just kind of went that way. But my passion has always been and still is forensics.”

The fact that her dream that began in the car ride away from the Army turned into the top veteran-owned small business in New Mexico means a lot to Goldstein-Dwyer.

“It’s a veteran owned business, but I’m a disabled military veteran,” Goldstein-Dwyer said. “So that puts us far and beyond everyone else as well in terms of our military. They feel a lot more comfortable coming here. I hire providers that are either straight from the military themselves, or have military or military dependents or a military family. So we have a good mix of about 15 or 20 of my providers have some military in their background.”

GD has 41 insurance providers including some that aren’t widely accepted like TRICARE military insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.

“You know, it doesn’t matter if the reimbursement is really low from the insurance company. We accept it,” Goldstein-Dwyer said.

On May 5, Goldstein-Dwyer will be accepting the prestigious award from the SBA at an invite-only, in-person ceremony.

“It’s surreal. I did not nominate myself, other people nominated me and I didn’t even realize that it was a thing,” Goldstein-Dwyer said. “And then when I got it, I just I was really, really shocked. I mean, I do a ton for the community. But I do it not for the praise. I just do it because I want to help. So it’s pretty cool and pretty exciting. I think it’ll be more realistic when I get up there.”