The Soapbox


Donaghue is adding Soapbox to its communication offerings to highlight perspectives that are part of the conversation about creating practical benefit through research to improve health.

It is a place for the Foundation and its grantees, advisers and colleagues to step up on the soapbox to express their views and share their knowledge related to healthcare innovation, medical research and education, and address the challenges of putting evidence to action. Soapbox will be published monthly on Donaghue’s website beginning this month.

Michelle Spoto, DMD and PhD student at University of Connecticut, is Donaghue’s inaugural writer for its Soapbox blog. Spoto, who is also a member of Donaghue’s Policy Advisory Committee, wrote on the importance of scientists writing about their work for a public audience. This is a topic that she is well-versed in; Spoto was editor-in-chief for the Reporter magazine, Rochester Institute of Technology’s student-run publication. Before starting her graduate education in dentistry and genetics, Spoto was a Biomedical Sciences graduate of RIT.

Future Soapbox posts will feature program officers at PCORI on when an innovation is ready for comparative effectiveness research; Donovan Maust, PhD, University of Michigan on psychotropic polypharmacy in older adults; Pat Folcarelli, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, on improving safety, and a trio of perspectives on what the nursing home of the future should look like.

Long time readers of this Practically Speaking newsletter may recognize the artist behind our Soapbox logo. Ray Andrews, the Foundation’s first individual trustee, is a lifelong cartoonist. His cartoons were an element of the Donaghue Dictionary, a Practically Speaking feature between 2003-2014. Andrews’ cartoons have been published in the Boston Globe and the Hartford Courant, and a gallery of his cartoons on various topics can been seen at