Lauren Silverman | KERA News

Lauren Silverman

Reporter/Host

Lauren Silverman is the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She is also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.

Before joining KERA, Lauren worked at NPR’s weekend All Things Considered in Washington, D.C. There, she produced national stories on everything from the politics of climate change to the future of online education. While at All Things Considered, Lauren also produced a piece on neighborhood farms in Compton, Calif., that won a National Association of Black Journalism’s Salute to Excellence Award.

As a freelance reporter, Lauren has written and recorded stories in English and Spanish for a variety of news outlets, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Here & Now; American Public Media’s Marketplace; Sound Medicine and Latino USA.

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This is by far one of the funniest fish faces in the ocean. And now it’s official. The blobfish, which lives in the waters off Australia, is the “winner” of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society’s vote to select a new mascot. Hat tip to NPR’s The Two-Way for showing me an image I’ll never forget.

At first glance, we thought it was a Star Wars character.

Here are a few of the other contenders:

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You won’t find the Marlboro Man pushing tobacco on TV anymore, but you will find other familiar faces flaunting electronic cigarettes. Celebrities including Jenny McCarthy, Stephen Dorff and Courtney Love have signed on to pitch the devices, and national sales of e-cigarettes have caught fire. In North Texas, e-cigarettes are big business, even though physicians worry they aren’t as benign as we’re being told. 

Lauren Silverman

Fort Worth isn’t just home to the Stockyards and Sundance Square anymore. Cowtown is now home to a plant that will produce the first smartphones ever assembled in the U.S.

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In three weeks, the Texas health insurance marketplace will be open for business. There will be a variety of plans to choose from – the basic bronze and even platinum – but all of them, and many private insurance plans too – will be required to cover certain benefits like checkups starting in 2014.

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If you want job security and a good salary, investing in putting an “M” and a “D” in front of your name is a pretty solid way to go. Today there is unprecedented demand for MD’s, or family physicians, in Texas and across the U.S., according to a new study led by Irving-based consulting firm Merritt Hawkins.

Why?

You don't have to wait until Oct. 1 to start exploring your health insurance options. Get prepared now for the new marketplace with these tips.

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Lace up your shoes and get ready to jump in — the health insurance marketplace opens in less than a month. And even though the details of the plans — or prices — available to Texans on the new site haven’t been revealed, you can still get a leg up by preparing early.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There are nearly six million people in Texas without health insurance. The majority will be able to get coverage when the state marketplace opens in October, but not everyone. Undocumented immigrants won’t be able to sign up for health care through the exchange. 

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Check-up, check.

Teeth cleaning, forget it.

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. more than a decade ago. But in recent years, the highly infectious disease has cropped up in communities with low vaccination rates, most recently in North Texas.

There, 21 people — the majority of whom have not been immunized — have gotten the disease, which began at a vaccine-skeptical megachurch.

The outbreak began when a man who contracted the virus on a recent trip to Indonesia visited the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, about an hour and a half northwest of Dallas.

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Seniors in Texas are among the worst off in a new report ranking states by level of food security. While hunger is a problem usually associated with extreme poverty and children, the reality is we’ve got millions of seniors in the U.S. who are going hungry.

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When it comes to medical advice, most people turn to their doctor. But in some places, it’s the religious leader whose words resonate. In one North Texas community, parishioners followed guidance from pastors who said to turn to faith before medicine. And this month, more than twenty of them became sick with the measles.

The state of Kentucky’s got ‘Kynect,’ Idaho’s got ‘Your Health Idaho’, what’s the Lone Star State going to call its health care exchange? True, the exchange will be set up by the federal government, but Texas still gets to brand it.

Here’s a few ideas:

Will you need to look for coverage on the Texas Health Insurance Marketplace? How much will it cost? Find answers on our new Breakthroughs blog.

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When it opens October 1st, this marketplace will not have any lines. At least that’s what we’re hoping. In Texas, the federally run health insurance marketplace (formerly known as “the exchange”), is an online shopping site designed to take the confusion out of buying private health insurance. So how will it work and who needs to shop there? We got the breakdown from Stacey Pogue of the Austin-based nonprofit, the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

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Money for the so-called health insurance “navigators” has arrived. The federal government announced Thursday that eight Texas organizations will receive a total of $10.8 million to train “navigators” to help uninsured Texans find coverage on the new marketplace set to open Oct.1.

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The largest federally-owned wind farm is about to be built at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced today. The five-turbine project will power more than 60 percent of the plant once it is complete.

Like Florida, Texas is a popular state for sinkholes. There’s been several of them in the past decade — the biggest ate up a chunk of Daisetta (Liberty County, Texas) in 2008, and became a private pool for a 7-foot alligator!

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The annual tax free weekend has finally arrived! Of course calculators, pens and pencils are tax free, but so are hunting vests, bowling shirts and adult diapers. 

Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Running a business like Dickey’s Barbecue Pit or La Duni Latin Cafe is about to get more complicated. There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or Obamacare), but there is general consensus that it will have a big impact on businesses.

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Dissecting prejudice is about as easy as picking apart a pomegranate. It’s a messy task that researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington have been working on for years.

When you arrive at a hospital, your first question probably isn't "Who owns this place?" But the answer may be important. Critics say doctor owned hospitals increase prices, cherry-pick patients and create conflicts of interest. The Dallas Morning News reports Physician-owned hospitals in North Texas are finding ways to expand despite provisions in the Affordable Care Act that discourage their growth.

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If you’re looking for work in Dallas-Fort Worth, your best bet is to look in the health care industry.

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Motorola has finally introduced the Moto X, its high-end, Fort-Worth-produced smartphone -- the first ever built in the U.S. 

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Three weeks after country singer Randy Travis was hospitalized for congestive heart failure and a subsequent stroke, he's finally leaving Baylor Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas. According to a press release, Travis has been relocated to an undisclosed physical therapy facility. 

Travis’ fiancée Mary Davis is quoted in the release: 

“Thanks to all the fans and friends for your continued prayers and support as Randy continues on the road to recovery.” 

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Dallas County Health and Human Services announced the second human West Nile virus case in Dallas County for the 2013 season. This time, it is the more serious version of the virus, West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. 

IsItLowT.com

Do you know your T-score? That’s ‘T’ as in Testosterone. There’s a nationwide campaign that’s especially hot in Texas urging men to check their testosterone levels and get treated for what’s become known as "Low T. " We dive into the details behind testosterone replacement therapy.

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Nothing says end of summer like back-to-school immunizations. And while school's not in session yet, the time is right to think about whether your kid needs any booster shots to go along with that new backpack. We've rounded up some resources to help you out. 

A new study of 100 private water wells in and near the Barnett Shale showed elevated levels of potential contaminants such as arsenic, according to a team of researchers led by UT Arlington.

Forty years ago, thousands of Mexican-Americans in Dallas, Texas came together for a protest at city hall. Four days earlier, a white police officer had shot and killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez. The death of Rodriguez sparked a riot. Eventually, it later spurred change that led to political representation and more Mexican-Americans on the police force.

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