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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Maybe we shouldn't be mimicking our caveman ancestors. The Scientific American published a piece raising questions about the evidence behind the "Paleo" diet. The diet, which is popular among the CrossFit crowd, consists of mostly meat, nuts, fruits and vegetables -- no dairy or processed grains.

Lauren Silverman

There is a serious doctor shortage in Texas. Nationwide, the state ranks near the bottom when it comes to doctor-patient ratios, and that’s only expected to get worse as more people gain access to insurance with the Affordable Care Act. For decades, nurse practitioners have argued they can help fill the gaps in primary care – if only there were fewer restrictions. Now, legislation giving nurses more autonomy has been signed into law.

Lauren Silverman

There are more than 130 million smartphones in the U.S. But none of them say “Made in the USA.” When Motorola debuts its high-end smartphone -- the Moto X --  it will be the first.

And every Moto X will come from Fort Worth.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Souce: Dartmouth Atlas Project at The Dartmouth Institute For Health Policy And Clinical Practices.

When you’re leaving the hospital, the last thing you want to think about is being readmitted in a couple weeks. The odds of that happening are surprisingly high. Starting in October, as part of the Affordable Care Act, more than 2,000 hospitals will be penalized for high readmission rates. Two hospitals in North Texas are trying to tackle the problem of high readmissions, with technology.

Lauren Silverman

The vote has been taken but the controversy isn't over - The Irving-based Boy Scouts of America will lift its long time ban and allow gay boys to join their organization – although the ban on gay adults remains. 

The  Boy Scouts of America, based in Irving, will  lift the organization's ban on openly gay members.

KERA reporter Lauren Silverman says 61 percent of the 1,400 national council members meeting behind closed doors in Grapevine have voted in favor of including  gay scouts.

Under the proposal drafted by the Scouts' governing board, gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders.

The outcome is unlikely to end a bitter debate over the Scouts' membership policy.

Lauren Silverman

For the first time in the history of Farmers Branch, a Hispanic council member has been sworn in. Ana Reyes, 39, will represent District One – which has a majority of Hispanic residents.

For years, Texas ranked last in the nation for spending on mental health care. According to a consortium of sheriffs from across the state, the lack of spending led to an unprecedented number of people with mental illness ill in jails, instead of treatment facilities. Now, lawmakers have allocated $259 million to mental health care.

Lauren Silverman

Dozens of Madison High School students in South Dallas walked out of class today. 

They joined some parents in protesting the possible firing of their principal, Marian Willard.  

They’re concerned Willard is among Dallas principals who would lose her job under Superintendent Mile Miles’ new performance plan for campus administrators.

“We don’t want her to leave. She is a great principal. She came to this school and turned it around when no one else could,” said student Monicea Barnes as she waved a sign that said “save our principal”

Lauren Silverman

Federal officials in the town of West will not speculate as to whether the arrest and indictment of first responder Bryce Reed has any connection to the explosion there last month. Officials are done examining the scene of the blast, but the investigation continues.

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Researchers have known that having diabetes raises a person's risk of dying, but now there is a simple tool to calculate which diabetic patients are at the greatest risk.

Vital Art and Science Incorporated

You can use your iPhone to play games, find restaurants, even friends. Now, some people in North Texas are using their iPhones to prevent blindness.

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May 12th through May 18th is National Women’s Health Week. And it’s a good time to clarify how the Affordable Care Act impacts women.

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Who says you can’t have fun and a get a mammogram? This week is National Women’s Health Week, and you can celebrate here in North Texas a few ways:

Lauren Silverman

Ana Reyes will make history in the city of Farmers Branch when she is sworn in as the first Hispanic member on an all-white city council. Reyes defeated William Capener 63 to 37 to win the district one seat.

According to Dallas Police, a man called this morning saying he wanted to harm himself. As a precaution, the campus of Southern Methodist University and Stonewall Jackson Elementary briefly went on lockdown. Officers took the man into custody and no one was harmed. Here's a reminder of mental health resources both on, and off campus.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data for the first time comparing average hospital charges for the 100 most common Medicare claims. A Washington Post analysis of the 10 most common medical procedures showed hospitals in Texas routinely had higher prices than the rest of the country.

Creative Commons: Jeffrey Beall

Southern Methodist University says it will follow new task force recommendations calling for the school to ramp up education and outreach on sexual assault. The task force released recommendations today following a string of sexual assaults last year.

Lauren Silverman

Former Dallas Cowboy Daryl Johnston is using his fame shine a light on brain injuries in sports. He says all athletes should get a baseline assessment test before playing sports, and is working with the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas to promote awareness. 

Courtesy of Taylor Roth

Two years ago, a 21-year-old Baylor student from Plano learned she had a brain tumor. Taylor Roth thought she had only a year to live. But new technology at UT Southwestern showed her prognoses was actually much better. She not only returned to school, but made it all the way to TV’s Jeopardy!

Some North Texas health care companies are starting to practice what they preach. Baylor Health Care - known for its exceptional cancer treatment programs – now screens job seekers for nicotine use. If applicants applying online respond that they are smokers, they are re-directed to resources to help them stop smoking before they can reapply. As Susan Ladika reports for Workforce, Baylor joins the 4 percent of companies that follow a policy to not hire nicotine users. In Texas, 18.5% of the adult population are current cigarette smokers. Across all states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults ranges from 9.3% to 26.5%. In Texas, 17.4% of high school students smoke.

Dallas Morning News

If you rode a wagon down what is now Oak Lawn in April of 1913, you would have passed four large canvas tents. There, beneath the shade of the oak trees, what looked like a campsite was actually the first medical clinic for babies in North Texas, and the precursor to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. 

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Teachers telling students to listen up at Winfree Academy Charter Schools might have to shout tomorrow. Two dozen students at the school are participating in an experiment to illustrate the dangers of hearing loss in teens due to loud sound exposure without hearing protection. For one full day, these high school students will re-create what it is like to experience hearing loss. 

The Situation Room is one of the most mysterious and important rooms in the White House. It's where Lyndon Johnson made decisions about the Vietnam War; where Bill Clinton learned about the bombing of the USS Cole; and where George W. Bush gave the order to begin the Iraq War.

Lauren Silverman

Almost three years after groundbreaking, and a few hundred million dollars later, the George W. Bush Presidential Center is finally complete. It’s full of artifacts – such as gifts from foreign leaders, Bush’s cowboy boots and baseball collection -- but the main attractions are interactive and high-tech.

Courtesy George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

This is the third installment in the KERA News series "Inside the Bush Center."

The new George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas has thousands of artifacts on display. But it also has the largest collection of electronic records of any presidential library. That means hours and hours of video, 4 million photographs and 200 million emails. 

Lauren Silverman

Only a railroad separated West’s intermediate school from the fertilizer plant that exploded last week. The blast destroyed that school -- and left three out of four West ISD campuses unusable. But many West students are going to finish the school year, just not in West. 

Dane Walters

This is the second installment in the KERA News series "Inside the Bush Center."

It’s one of the most mysterious rooms in the White House: The Situation Room. And the public has almost never seen it, save for a couple of snapshots from the mission that killed Osama Bin Laden. Now, that iconic room has been rebuilt in Dallas -- inside the new George W. Bush Presidential Center, which will be dedicated Thursday.

Lauren Silverman

Just four days after a fertilizer plant explosion took 14 of their loved ones, the people of West, Texas, found some solace Sunday.  The churchgoers flocked to two very different sanctuaries -- one untouched by the explosion, the other in a hay field.

The job hunt is complicated enough for most high school and college graduates — and even tougher for the growing number of young people on the autism spectrum. Despite the obstacles that people with autism face trying to find work, there's a natural landing place: the tech industry.

Amelia Schabel graduated from high school five years ago. She had good grades and enrolled in community college. But it was too stressful. After less than a month she was back at home, doing nothing.

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