Sam Baker | KERA News

Sam Baker

Senior Editor and Morning Edition Host

Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.

Sam worked in commercial television at NBC and CBS affiliates for six years before moving to public broadcasting. He was news director and Morning Edition host at KWGS-FM in Tulsa, Okla., for three years and moved to KERA in 1991. He has served on the board of Public Radio News Directors Inc. and is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators.

As a volunteer, Sam for seven years produced a weekly series, Jazz in Words and Music, for Reading and Radio Resources, an agency serving the visually impaired. He is also a former member on the board of Southwest Transplant Alliance, a private nonprofit organization that provides organs and tissues for transplantation.

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One option for treating an enlarged prostate in men involves an invasive form of surgery known to have serious side effects. A urologist in North Texas has been certified for a newer, minimally invasive form of treatment called UroLift.

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A new study has found more stroke victims may be saved from disability or death if doctors can remove blood clots that block circulation to the brain. It also found doctors may have more time than originally thought to perform the treatment.

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A sedentary lifestyle can lead to problems with heart health, but people with active lifestyles aren’t immune, according to a new study of longtime endurance runners.

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Studies have shown a high rate of suicide in the veterinary community. One of every six veterinary school grads in a 2014 CDC survey said they’d considered taking their own life.

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When it's cold outside, alcohol might feel like a way to fend off the winter chill, but health care experts warn alcohol and cold weather can be a bad combination if you’re not careful. 

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For many, a list of New Year’s resolutions tends to include losing weight. Before considering diets, gyms, expensive equipment and tech gadgets, a local dietitian offers some sensible ideas to help with weight reduction.

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A study from cardiologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources has found that exercise can reverse damage to the heart in a sedentary adult – if he or she does enough exercise in time. 

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Recently released guidelines have lowered the definition for high blood pressure, which increases the number of people identified as having hypertension and being at risk for serious medical problems because of it.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

The Forest Theater in the Fair Park neighborhood of Dallas will get a new lease on life. The Real Estate Council has awarded a million-dollar grant to renovate the former movie and performing arts venue, along with nearby retail space and exteriors. 

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When civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson in November announced he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he joined a long list of famous people — and thousands of other Americans — who live with the neurological condition.

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In the midst of cold and flu season, you also want to guard yourself against pneumonia. It’s a common disease with about a million cases a year requiring medical care. But it's also easy to mistake for other medical problems.  

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A new FDA-approved cell therapy holds promise for treating a form of blood cancer called multiple meyeloma. UT Southwestern Medical Center will soon begin clinical trials of CAR-T therapy to find out if it can succeed where older treatments have failed.

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Herbs and spices definitely enhance the flavor of food, but some believe, on their own, they can do the same for your health. A clinical dietitian at Parkland Hospital says there’s some truth to that, but there are limits.

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An estimated 660,000 Texans aren’t aware they have diabetes, and far more don’t know just how at risk they are for the disease. 

Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be Type 2 diabetes. Your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to completely normalize your blood sugars.

The condition has no symptoms.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

As the 54th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy nears, information from the previously sealed FBI files related to the tragedy is still being processed by scholars and enthusiasts alike. 

GlaxoSmithKline via Associated Press

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new vaccine for shingles. Zostavax has been the only product on the market for the last decade. Now, Shingrix appears to be more effective against the painful, viral rash.

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We often think about our diet in terms of what it can do for our heart and our waistline, but the right nutrients also provide the fuel for the brain to operate properly.

Maggy Boyd, a registered dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, explains how to feed your brain.  

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Another good reason to watch your weight: Experts say obesity has likely contributed to a common, but potentially fatal condition called acute pancreatitis.

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A new state law this year requires commercial insurers to cover 3D mammograms, a more advanced — and expensive — form of screening for breast cancer than the standard 2D version.

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Among the Nov. 7 ballot items in Dallas is a billion-dollar bond package of items ranging from streets, parks and libraries to homelessness and economic development. 

City Hall reporter Tristan Hallman of The Dallas Morning News said City Council originally had a tab as low as $600 million in mind.

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While breast cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death among women, the American Cancer Society recently reported death rates from the disease declined nearly 40 percent between 1989 and 2015.

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Researchers are launching clinical trials into prevention and treatment of kidney stones — hard deposits of minerals and salts that can block the flow of urine — as more Americans are contracting them and enduring their painful symptoms.

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Polycystic kidney disease — or PKD — causes numerous cysts to grow on the kidneys. It's the fourth leading cause of kidney failure. There is no cure, but a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center believes treatments are about 10 years away.

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A recent study found 70 percent of Americans binge-watch TV shows, sitting through an average of five episodes per marathon session. But that trend raises some health concerns.

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More than 30 million people wear contact lenses. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control say most users wear and maintain them incorrectly. 

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Falling is a common problem in senior adults that can have serious consequences, including loss of independence, brain traumatic injuries and even death. 

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Despite concerns about addiction and overprescription of opioids, the drugs are still considered an effective choice for acute or short-term pain. But the brain also can produce results just as effective.

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A group of researchers in the United Kingdom argues the standard medical advice of completing a course of antibiotics may do more harm than good. Most doctors believe it's become standard advice for a reason.

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With school back in session, students are having to readjust from their summer sleeping habits. 

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High-intensity interval training involves repeated brief bursts of very intense exercise mixed with longer periods of easy recovery. Sounds like something for younger people, but a new study of mice suggests older people might benefit, too.

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