Jacqueline Noonan

Dr. Jacqueline Noonan reviews an X-ray with medical residents.

Pioneer. Mentor. Leader. These words come up again and again when people talk about the late Dr. Jacqueline “Jackie” A. Noonan, a physician of international renown. A native of Burlington, Vermont, Dr. Noonan was the first pediatric cardiologist at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. During her time there, she observed a rare heart defect in children. She began publishing papers about this congenital heart condition in 1963, and it was ultimately named Noonan syndrome in recognition of her efforts.

In 1961, Dr. Noonan joined the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine. For nearly five decades, Dr. Noonan was a fixture at UK, practicing pediatric cardiology and critical care.

Jacqueline Noonan

Dr. Noonan was a trailblazer in the field of cardiology.

“She had great compassion for her patients and their families,” said Jacquie Shukla, Dr. Noonan’s niece. This could be seen in her gentle bedside manner, added Scottie B. Day, M.D., F.A.A.P, Chair of UK’s Department of Pediatrics and Physician in Chief at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

As Dr. Noonan’s former mentee, Dr. Day is especially honored to hold the Jacqueline A. Noonan-CMN Research Chair in Pediatrics. He remains inspired by Dr. Noonan’s generosity, describing how she held clinics in under-resourced communities in eastern Kentucky. “That’s the kind of person she was,” he said.

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Her dedication opened many doors in health care at UK and beyond.

Despite many impressive awards and accolades over the years, Dr. Noonan was always humble. But she was proud of the College of Medicine and her colleagues. To help support her professional home, Dr. Noonan decided to make a gift of her life insurance policy to UK.

Dr. Noonan never took her own opportunities for granted. As a child, she nearly died from a ruptured appendix. That harrowing experience inspired her to become a physician. Giving back and helping others defined her entire life, and she established a planned gift with those values in mind.

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Thanks to Dr. Noonan's planned gift, her legacy will fund research and breakthroughs.

“This gift will help us continue to advance research and academics around congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Day. “It will form an endowment that will support our research, but will ultimately lead to better treatment options and outcomes for our young patients we serve. The impact of this fund will be tremendous and lasting. She was always passionate about teaching, education, faculty development and research.”

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Her life's passion and commitment to UK is only the beginning.

While Dr. Noonan will forever be known in the medical community for the pediatric heart condition she described, those who had the privilege of knowing her personally will remember her in other ways too.

“Hardworking and generous,” Shukla said.

“Dedicated to UK,” Dr. Day said.

What are You Passionate About?

Like Dr. Noonan, you, too, can help support what you love at the University of Kentucky through a planned gift. To learn more about establishing a gift in your estate plan, please contact Gift and Estate Planning at (859) 257-7886 or giftandestate@uky.edu.