Meet Dr. Inez Kelleher

Dr. Kelleher has been an orthopedic surgeon on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1996. Born in the small Illinois River town of Geneva, she was raised in a working-class family – beginning work herself as a young teenager by babysitting, teaching piano, and working as a department store clerk. Learning the lesson that achievement requires determination and a lot of hard work, she  attended college on an academic and track & field scholarship. 


While in college she met her first husband, Kevin Kelleher, a fellow track team member. Following college, her husband joined the U.S. Air Force, and while he attended Office Training School, she worked as a janitor and a warehouse stocker. They had their first child during this time, and their second at Ellsworth AFB. 


Dr. Kelleher's family was transferred to Germany, where she taught biology at the University of Maryland, Heidelberg Division, and moved back to Laughlin AFB in Texas when her husband began pilot training. Inez took her MCAT, but instead of medical school, decided to focus on her family, with plans to obtain a Ph.D. later. All of these plans came to a sudden and tragic end when her husband died in an aircraft training accident in 1985, leaving Inez with three young boys, ages 1, 4, and 6.


Matriculating through Georgetown Medical School on a military scholarship, Dr Kelleher graduated in 1990 top 20% of her class – all while raising her three boys. During her medical school rotations, she fell in love with orthopedics, and despite only 4% of orthopedic surgeons being women, and acceptance for both men and women in this highly technical specialty being highly competitive, she won a spot in the famous Orthopedic Surgery Resident Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Following completion of her residency, Dr. Kelleher earned a fellowship in Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She began her USAF active duty Orthopedic Surgery practice at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS.


2001 was a memorable year for Dr. Kelleher. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, she married her fiancée, Peter Hoar, and was soon deployed twice, to Diego Garcia and to Bagram AFB in Afghanistan, for Operation Enduring Freedom. In response to Hurricane Katrina, she volunteered at Memorial Hospital Gulfport and continued as an employed Orthopedic Surgeon at MGH beginning in October of that year.


Now Dr. Kelleher is running to be your next State Representative for District 117. 


“I firmly believe that it is a representative’s duty to represent the best interests of all her constituents, regardless of their differences.” - Dr. Kelleher