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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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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UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) is using a new device in its efforts to improve breast cancer treatment: the GammaPod.  

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A new study suggests there is a tie between brain differences and obesity. Brain scans on nearly 3,200 children found those who were overweight had slightly less volume in a part of the brain that controls “executive functions.”

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Ear infections are very common in young children. Most go away on their own, but some infections require antibiotics and other cases require further help from ear tubes.

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Forget about licking the batter on the spoon or sampling raw cookie dough. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say you risk the chance of illness if you do.

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What is "clean eating" and how can you keep it up during the holidays? With the Christmas and New Year’s meals still ahead of us, local dietitian Jacie Slocum offers suggestions for those following the clean eating trend.

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A recent study has raised concerns about using stents to treat heart disease. It suggests doctors in many cases implant stents to unblock arteries when medication and lifestyle changes would produce the same result.

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The CDC says only 35% of pregnant women in 2018 received vaccines against flu and whooping cough —putting them and their infants at risk of severe illness. 

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Many people with arthritis and other long-term chronic pain conditions believe the cold, the heat or maybe damp or rainy weather makes their pain worse. A new U.K. study supports that belief.

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The Thanksgiving meal will mean some overindulgence for some. Those with diabetes will have to exercise some care, but holiday food doesn't have to be a major issue.

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A current trend in food, clean eating's not about the actual cleanliness of food, but rather choosing minimally processed, ethically raised foods rich in naturally occurring nutrients.

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A recent study says less than six hours of sleep per night can lead to cancer or early death for someone middle aged or older with existing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

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A recent study suggests fast food is one possible reason teen depression is on the rise in the U.S. It went up 52 percent between 2005 and 2017.

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