Nancy M. Cappello, PhD, Breast Health Advocate, Honored By UNICO, The Largest Italian American Service Organization in The U.S.

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Dr. Cappello's relentless breast health advocacy to prevent late-stage breast cancer, inspired by her advanced stage breast cancer diagnosis within weeks of her 11th normal mammogram, led to this most prestigious honor.

At a recent gathering at UNICO Waterbury CT - the founding Chapter of UNICO National

UNICO President Elect Tom Vaughan, Dr. Nancy Cappello and Francine Nido, UNICO National Secretary

Dr. Cappello embodies the true spirit of our organization, an organization which celebrates our proud Italian American heritage and the positive contributions we make as Americans.

Nancy M. Cappello, PhD is being honored by the largest Italian American service organization in the United States, UNICO, with its Americanism – Civis Illustris Award for her outstanding work in communities in the US and around the world. This year, the national meeting and awards ceremony is being held at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, AZ.

As director and founder of Are You Dense, Inc., and Are You Dense Advocacy Inc., patient advocacy breast health nonprofit organizations, Dr. Cappello spearheads grassroots efforts to educate the public about risks and screening challenges of dense breast tissue to prevent missed, delayed and advanced-stage cancer.

Moreover, she is the inspiration behind the first density reporting law in the nation in 2009, catapulting Connecticut as a global leader in density reporting and adjunct screening for women with dense breast tissue. Currently, 32 states have enacted density reporting laws as a result of her hard work, hard work which ultimately continues to save thousands of lives each year through earlier breast cancer detection, leading to timelier treatment.

“I am honored, humbled and gratified to be recognized by an organization of my heritage,” says Dr. Cappello. “UNICO subscribes to ideals I hold dear, including life’s work that benefits humanity, through our country’s legislative and constitutional processes upholding our shared tenets as Americans.”

According to Tom Vaughan, incoming National President, UNICO, “Dr. Cappello embodies the true spirit of our organization, an organization which celebrates our proud Italian American heritage and the positive contributions we make as Americans.”

Founded in 1922 in Waterbury, Connecticut by Dr. Anthony P. Vastola, UNICO, which translates from Italian to mean “one” and “unique” evolved to stand for Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity, and Opportunity, becoming cornerstone to its foundation. When the National Civic League merged with UNICO in 1947, the merger created the largest Italian-American charitable organization, with the singular goal to make all of its members better American citizens.

“Holding up values such as giving to the community with good works guided by a strong moral compass runs in many families. It’s in their genes, their DNA,” adds Francine Nido, the UNICO Waterbury Chapter Board of Directors and National Secretary, and person responsible for nominating Dr. Cappello. “Like her Italian ancestors who supported Dr. Vastola’s initial vision, our recognition to Dr. Cappello furthers their legacy for all Italian Americans who work hard and contribute to society for the greater good.”

For more information about UNICO, please visit For more information about Nancy M Cappello, PhD and her work in breast health, visit and

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Andrea Cohen
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