Dr. Nunziato was announced as the 2023 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award recipient at the AAMC Awards Ceremony Oct. 25. This profile was originally posted on the AAMC website.
When Jaclyn D. Nunziato, MD, MS, associate professor in OB-GYN at Virginia Tech-Carilion (VTC) School of Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia, arrived on the VTC campus and began practicing at the Carilion Clinic in 2017, she recognized a need to consolidate the siloed resources for mothers in the southwestern Virginia region. From her standpoint as both an OB-GYN and a mother herself, she understood the challenges parents in the area faced and set about creating a central hub where those tasked with rearing children could come for support, resources, and advice.
By 2020, that work had become Huddle Up Moms, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Dr. Nunziato founded and for which she serves as executive director. Dedicated to empowering women through education, connection, and support, the organization has served the needs of more than 3,500 women in the area by creating 10 unique health-related programs including increasing capacity for mental health services, a novel blood pressure program, and a diaper and formula exchange program. The nonprofit has raised over $100,000 for the surrounding community and has created partnerships with more than 50 other nonprofits to provide resources for women’s health.
In addition, Dr. Nunziato works with the Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative at Virginia Commonwealth University to promote equitable care for all, but especially for women of color who face disproportionate rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. As part of that work, she serves as co-chair of EMBRACE, the 4th Trimester Quality Improvement Project, which has been implemented by more than 15 health systems across the state of Virginia.
“Her warmth, enthusiasm, and passion for women’s health advocacy not only inspires her students and benefits her patients, but impacts her local community and beyond,” says Katherine Brow, MD, a rising OB-GYN intern who was mentored by Dr. Nunziato. Kimberly Simcox, DO, an associate professor in the department of OB-GYN at VTC, adds that the tireless Dr. Nunziato is “a visionary with big ideas and an even bigger heart.”
For her efforts, Dr. Nunziato has been awarded by VTC students the Golden Apple student teaching award five times and has been recognized by the school as a Health System Science Clinical Champion since 2021. Dr. Nunziato has worked hard over the last two years to create a trauma-informed curriculum for the medical school and received the APGO Foundation Grant to continue these efforts on a national level. The Roanoker magazine named her to its annual list of “40 under 40.” In 2022, she was named a “Distinguished Woman Leader in the Community” by Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, and this year she was named a Top Doc in Obstetrics in southwest Virginia by the Roanoker magazine.
Dr. Nunziato earned a BS from Villanova University in 2004 and an MS in molecular biology from Farleigh Dickinson University in 2007. She earned an MD from Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in 2013 and completed her residency training in OB-GYN at Stony Brook University Hospital in 2017.