2011 Nonprofit PR Awards: Communicator of the Year


Dr. Marisa Weiss - Breastcancer.org

Dr. Marisa Weiss, a leading oncologist and founder of Breastcancer.org, continued to advocate for cancer patients despite her diagnosis of breast cancer in 2010. Instead of taking a step back from her clinical practice and work for Breastcancer.org, Dr. Weiss participated in an interview with Dr. Timothy Johnson, a senior medical contributor to ABC News, the day after her diagnosis. She spoke of breast cancer prevention and the importance of early detection. The interview reiterated her stand taken in late 2009 when she appeared on Good Morning America in opposition of the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s new guidelines, which ruled against mammography screenings for women ages 40-49, and against annual mammography screenings for women 50 years or older. 

Dr. Weiss continues to work tirelessly as the president and voice of Breastcancer.org. The Web site receives about 10 million visits per year, testimony to her high-profile role as key spokesperson. As advances in technology and breast cancer treatments continue, Dr. Weiss educates communities through nationwide talks, media interviews and direct interaction.

Honorable Mentions

Mark Thomas, Managing Director, Marketing and Communications, National Shooting Sports Foundation: Over the past two years, Mark Thomas has raised the profile of the NSSF by implementing an integrated social media campaign that included Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other channels, resulting in over 58 million impressions. Thomas’ work contributed to a membership increase from 2,750 in 2009 to 6,600 in 2011. 

Patrice Smith,
National Media and Public Relations Consultant, Kaiser Permanente: Patrice Smith grew Kaiser Permanente’s campaign “Every Body Walk!” from an internal program to a documentary that debuted online in January 2011. During the health reform debate, Smith organized a tour and roundtable discussions between 15 Kaiser Permanente experts and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). With Smith’s guidance, KP’s stakeholder database expanded to over 20,000 constituents.


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  • prpro

    Really…communicator of the year for a couple of interviews? Incredible