Jason Cucchiara, FNP-C, has joined the clinical healthcare team of Northern Orthopaedics, the busy practice site of Northern Hospital of Surry County that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of orthopaedic disease and injuries – from arthritis and bone fractures to sports injuries and joint replacements.
Cucchiara, a certified Family Nurse Practitioner with specialty training and experience in orthopaedic and emergency/trauma care, will begin treating patients on April 1. “I am excited to join the highly regarded Northern Orthopaedics practice, and look forward to helping my patients get back to work or back to what they enjoy doing,” he said. “Today, there are many effective treatment options for all types of orthopaedic problems; and I look forward to partnering with my patients – by serving as their clinician, educator, advocate and cheerleader – to help them achieve their individual health goals.”
Prior to his appointment with Northern Orthopaedics, Cucchiara worked at the Baton Rouge Orthopaedic Clinic, affiliated with Louisiana State University Athletics and the New Orleans Saints. Before that, he was employed for six years by University Medical Center/University Hospitals and Clinics, in Lafayette, Louisiana – where he held a variety of increasingly more responsible staff and nursing-management positions.
Fifteen years ago, Cucchiara earned his nursing degree from Louisiana Tech University, in Ruston, LA. He then earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 2011 from Our Lady of the Lake College, in Baton Rouge, LA. Six years later, he graduated from South University, in Savannah, Georgia, with a Master of Science in Nursing degree.
In addition to his extensive work experience and advanced nursing education, Cucchiara brings to his patients a high level of positive energy and a uniquely personal motivation for wanting to treat children and adults with orthopaedic challenges. “I was born with a club foot,” he says, “and my parents — who were told by an orthopaedic surgeon that I would never play sports – never shared that surgeon’s prediction with me.” Instead, his parents encouraged their young son to participate in a number of physically demanding sports, including baseball and soccer. One day, many years later when Cucchiara was a nursing student and completing his patient rounds in a pediatric clinic, he spotted an infant boy with a club foot. “I remember looking at the parents while holding this child and thinking, ‘You’re going to be OK, kid … really OK!’
“It was at that moment when I became hooked on orthopaedics,” he adds.
Ironically, Cucchiara’s path to nursing almost didn’t happen. “My father and grandfather were pharmacists, so it was in my DNA to be a third-generation pharmacist!” he jokes. That tradition was broken, however, when he was introduced to direct patient care while working as a technician in an Emergency Department. “I knew I wanted the satisfaction that comes from interacting with patients, so I enrolled in nursing school,” he said. Today, his family has embraced that decision – especially since he reminds them frequently that nursing is but a slight modification to the family “Pharmacy” legacy — because both his mother and stepfather are nurses.
Cucchiara remains ready to apply his nursing knowledge and skills to helping victims of natural disasters. Since his days as a nursing student, he has eagerly volunteered his time and efforts to assist thousands of people affected by the devastating destruction of multiple hurricanes – including Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Matthew. “If you’re a healthcare provider, it’s what you do,” he says, matter-of-factly. “My work is a privilege and responsibility, so why wouldn’t I show-up at a disaster site with my stethoscope and jeans and be available to help?”
Cucchiara is a member of several professional and academic organizations, including the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society
The 39-year-old native of ‘Cajun Country’ is pleased to be relocating to North Carolina; and, in particular, Mount Airy. As a young boy and teenager, Cucchiara enjoyed many outdoor adventures throughout the Tar Heel State – where he camped, hiked and fished with his Boy Scout troop; and later engaged in deer- and duck-hunting expeditions with family and friends. “As a result of my early exposure to the natural beauty of North Carolina, I’ve always thought of it as a magical place,” he says.
“Mount Airy reminds me a lot of the small town in Louisiana where I grew up,” he adds. “In fact, I’ve never meet nicer people than in Mount Airy – even though I don’ think there are any Italians here!” he laughs.
To schedule an appointment with Jason Cucchiara, FNP-C, call Northern Orthopaedics at 336-719-0011 or visit the practice’s office at 314 S. South Street, Suite 100, Mount Airy, NC 27030.