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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Individual household cleaning products are considered safe when handled correctly. But the North Texas Poison Center says mixing any of them is a bad idea.

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More than 3 million people are diagnosed each year with the spinal disorder spondylolisthesis, in which  one bone slips onto another. It can impact both adults and children and is common among teenagers involved in athletics.

Carter Blood Care

Time's running short for Carter BloodCare. The Texas-based blood bank says blood collections are not keeping pace with transfusion needs of hospital patients.

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About 250,000 people each year get pacemakers implanted to help maintain a steady heartbeat. Infection rates from the procedure are low in the U.S. But a simple mesh envelope is helping to reduce that rate further. 

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A new study disputes previous ideas about a link between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease.  A North Texas cardiologist talks about what prompted the idea in the first place.

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Summer heat in Texas at or near 100 degrees is uncomfortable, but also dangerous if you’re not careful. An emergency medicine physician warns not to take the heat for granted.

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A vaccination can prevent 90% of cancers caused by human papillomavirus or HPV. But Texas has been slow to embrace it. Denton County's public health director looks to his own region for possible reasons for the low vaccination rates.

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New scientific evidence suggests the blue light coming from LED lighting may be harmful to your eyes. There are preventive steps you can take. But a local ophthalmologist thinks it’s not cause for worry.

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Previous research has warned about consuming too many sugary drinks. But a new study has linked sugary drinks and supposedly healthier natural fruit juices to an increased risk of premature death.

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Cardiogenic shock happens when your heart suddenly can't pump enough blood to your body. Whether it results from a severe heart attack or not, cardiogenic shock can be deadly if it's not treated immediately.

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In response to the nation’s opioid crisis, Baylor Scott &White Fort Worth's emergency department is among a growing number across the country choosing to reduce their use of opioids to manage pain.

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A recent study of people 65 and older found stroke survivors four times more likely to suffer a fracture than someone with no history of stroke.

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Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Health have developed a new screening approach that can more quickly identify diseases hard to diagnose in kids.

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The American Diabetes Association has launched a public awareness campaign in Dallas County to battle an ongoing high rate of type 2 diabetes.

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A new study says the more eggs you eat — mostly because of the cholesterol inside ­— the more you’re at risk for heart disease and premature death.

A sign posting an alert for bad air quality is shown along Interstate Highway 635 in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009.
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Ozone and particle pollution found in unhealthy air can be hard on the respiratory system. But the particle pollution also can affect your heart. Cardiologist Dr. Amit Manhas explains why.

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Cancer of the esophagus — the tube that goes from your throat to your stomach — is on the rise in the U.S., and it's often diagnosed in later stages.

Advancing the clock forward each year is out of sync with how our internal clocks actually work.
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Some love that extra hour of sun in the evening, but research suggests daylight saving time is potentially harmful to our health.

Steve Sierzega receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine in Pomona, N.Y., on March 27, 2019. The county in New York City's northern suburbs declared a local state of emergency over a measles outbreak.
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The state health services department has confirmed at least 14 cases of measles in Texas this year, more than in all of 2018. The highly contagious disease primarily affects children, but measles can strike adults — and with serious complications.

Heart failure can't be cured, but it can be managed, to live longer and feel better.
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Heart failure — when the heart can’t pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs — can be deadly. 

But a diagnosis today is far from a death sentence, and while the illness can't be cured, it can be managed.  

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Concerns about e-cigarettes usually center on youth. But a CDC report using data from Texas and Oklahoma suggests it’s a problem to watch among pregnant women.

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Public health departments have put together a voluntary national accreditation system to hold themselves accountable to the public. The director of Tarrant County Public Health explains why the designation’s important.

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A recent study found younger women – 35 to 54 – are having more heart attacks. They accounted for nearly a third of all female heart attack patients in recent years.

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Energy drinks have been linked to heart, nerve and stomach problems. A recent study suggests consuming even one can might affect how well your blood vessels function, too. 

Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital

You probably thought no one makes house calls anymore. But a select group of paramedics in Arlington are making home visits to chronically-ill patients.

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Rates of sexually transmitted diseases – gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia in particular – are soaring in Dallas County. Cases of those three illnesses surged by more than 20 percent last year.

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The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has released a new set of exercise guidelines. It reflects the agency’s new way of thinking about exercise.

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Using artificial sweeteners is supposed to help avoid health problems related to obesity, but the latest study of them doesn’t make clear if non-sugar sweeteners really help you – or maybe even hurt you.

Denton County Public Health

Denton County's in year two of a three-year plan to improve coordination of health information and services to its population. 

Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Denton County Public Health, says the Community Health Improvement plan was not focused on the quality of care, but rather providing access to a population of nearly 900,000 people.

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The staff of Southwest Airlines will gather today in Dallas to celebrate the life of Herb Kelleher. The co-founder and longtime CEO died January 3rd at age 87. Kelleher helped build Southwest into a major player in the airline industry, but commentator Lee Cullum remembers the fight just to get the carrier off the ground.

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