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.

Ways to Connect

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Sore throat is a common ailment, but it’s also now included among symptoms for COVID 19.

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In addition to those at high risk for the virus, new screening guidelines call for all adults, 18 and older, to have the blood test at least once in their lifetime. Also, pregnant women during each pregnancy.

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As the coronavirus surge continues, there’s another virus to watch for now: West Nile. Dallas County’s already spraying for the mosquito-borne disease and a number of its symptoms are similar to COVID-19.

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Texas Health Harris Methodist in Fort Worth has become the first hospital in North Texas to use a robotic-assisted technology called Ion to biopsy potential tumors earlier than traditional diagnostic tests allow.

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Pregnant women aren’t considered at higher risk for getting the coronavirus, but it raises other concerns about a safe delivery.

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Area schools and universities have begun workouts for the new football season. Concussions resulting from contact sports like football are treatable — but the approach has changed over the years.

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One in five children in America are believed to have a mental health disorder. The reluctance to talk openly about it because of the stigma against such disorders can be the very thing standing in the way of  treatment.

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The financial outlook for the city of Dallas is gloomy — the city could face a shortfall next year that ranges from $60 million to $100 million. T.C. Broadnax, the Dallas city manager, talked with KERA's Sam Baker about the budget, calls for police reform and police department funding.

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As COVID-19 tests become more widely available, some confusion has arisen over which test to get: the viral diagnostic test or the antibody version.

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Parents usually keep watch on their child’s physical health. But they may not pay as much attention to mental health unless a specific problem has been diagnosed. A Dallas-area expert believes monitoring a child’s mental health is something you have to do each day.

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The May 27 report from a healthcare research and policy team at Johns Hopkins University found 28 hospitals (22 in the state) have sued patients in Texas for unpaid hospital bills since 2018. Some saw their personal accounts and property garnished. 

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A Parkland Health & Hospital System report last year found high rates of health disparities in certain ZIP codes in southeast Dallas. The report's co-author says those health disparities alone — along with bigger social distancing and job challenges — put those areas at high risk for coronavirus.

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As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expands its list of possible symptoms for COVID-19, health providers have been reporting  other problems in patients with the virus. A pulmonologist explores possible causes.

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As the state’s economy slowly reopens, many people are still at home with a lot of potential sedentary time on their hands. Exercise can be a useful way to pass some that time.

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A possible treatment for COVID-19, convalescent plasma therapy has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But hospitals like Baylor, Scott and White are allowed to use it on a compassionate or case-by-case basis.

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Daily updates on new cases of COVID-19 and deaths related to the illness often include people 65 and older. Why do the elderly tend to be more susceptible to viral infections?

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The Texas Department of Health Services recently shipped an unproven treatment for coronavirus to at least 70 hospitals across the state. Doctors there think hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine might work. But the North Texas Poison Center at Parkland Hospital is concerned some people may try to use them without medical supervision.

Update (5/2): The Food and Drug Administration has granted an emergency approval for remdesivir as a treatment for severely ill patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The antiviral medication prevents the virus from replicating itself.

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The current shelter-in-place order meant stocking up on food, but the initial run on area grocery stores has since made that task difficult. Some suggestions for nutritious buying.

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The elderly and people with existing respiratory ailments have been highly susceptible, but the new coronavirus is also a problem for people with severe heart disease.

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People still buy milk from cows, but far less than before. Here's an expert's look at why and whether milk’s still essential to our diets.

Hypertension disproportionately affects African Americans at a higher rate, and hypertension is a risk factor for left ventricular hypertrophy.
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Left ventricular hypertrophy, a thickening in the main pump chamber of the heart, strikes African Americans at a higher rate.

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As city, county and state agencies make preparations for a possible spread of coronavirus throughout Texas, there are steps the public can take to help keep the virus at bay.

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Doctors at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have developed a new approach for single breast reconstruction using a patient's own body tissue.

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Certain physical symptoms may signal heart disease, but its not always clear. An intervention cardiologist talked with KERA Vital Signs host Sam Baker about clues that may indicate you have heart disease when you don’t have symptoms.

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Many get their daily morning jolt of caffeine from coffee, but others prefer the more soothing approach of hot tea — which has several health benefits.

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A recent study found blood pressure in women begins to increase at younger ages, and at a faster rate, than in men. 

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An important step in maintaining good vision that you may not know about is eyelid hygiene. A North Texas ophthalmologist explains why eyelid hygiene matters, and how to keep your eyelids clean and healthy.

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Most diets center on what and how much you eat. The current popular trend of intermittent fasting takes a different approach by creating cycles or patterns of when you eat and when you fast.

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A new study found a protein linked to Alzheimer’s Disease also contributes to problems with diabetes and obesity.

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