October 18, 2002

Visco receives Frances Williams Preston Award

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Frances Williams Preston, right, presents Fran Visco the breast cancer awareness award at a luncheon this week. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Visco receives Frances Williams Preston Award

Fran Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, is the 2002 recipient of the Frances Williams Preston Award for Breast Cancer Awareness, presented by the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Visco is the first president of the NBCC, a grassroots advocacy organization that has grown to encompass more than 600 member organizations and 70,000 individual members since its formation in 1991.

The Preston Award was created in 1996 to honor individuals who have made important contributions to the fight against cancer through their advocacy and support. The award is named for Nashville native Frances Williams Preston, president and chief executive officer of BMI, the world’s largest performing rights organization.

Preston presented the award to Visco on Monday (Oct. 14) at the 10th annual Breast Cancer Health Forum Luncheon, part of a month-long series of educational events hosted by VICC in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Visco, a partner in a Philadelphia law firm before she turned exclusively to breast cancer advocacy work, represents NBCC at several national and international conferences and serves on many committees. She is an honors graduate of St. Joseph’s University and the Villanova Law School, where she was editor of The Villanova Law Review and chair of the Women’s Law Caucus.

In 1993, President Clinton appointed Visco to the President’s Cancer Panel and she was re-appointed in 1996 and 1999. She was the first consumer to chair the Integration Panel of the Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program, which has funded more than $1 billion in innovative breast cancer science since it began in 1991.

She co-chaired the National Action Plan on Breast Cancer and served on the National Cancer Policy Board.

A breast cancer survivor, Visco lives in Philadelphia with her husband and teen-age son.

Preston, who has been honored as an executive who has helped shape the music industry by combining her business savvy with her love of music, has been collaborating with the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in the fight against cancer for the past decade. She is president of the T.J. Martell Foundation for Leukemia, Cancer and AIDS Research, which supports research laboratories that bear her name at VICC, and she serves on its Board of Overseers. The building that is the focal point of cancer center’s research and clinical activities is also named in Preston’s honor as a result of a gift by the Martell Foundation.

Previous recipients of the Preston Award are Susan Braun, president and CEO, Susan G. Komen Foundation; Susan Caro, director, VICC Family Cancer Risk Service; Nancy Saturn, past president, Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition; Tennessee Sen. Thelma Harper; Tennessee Sen. Anna Belle Clement O’Brien; Dr. Benjamin F. Byrd Jr.; and Nashville broadcast journalist May Dean Eberling.