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 non-profit organization that provides organs and tissues for transplantation.

Ways to Connect

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Texas turns out plenty of medical school graduates, but there are not enough residencies to help retain them, a local doctor says. And that imbalance is contributing to a shortage of physicians in the state.  

That's why Medical City Healthcare, UNT Health Science Center and HCA Healthcare are joining forces to create about 500 new residencies over the next five to seven years. 

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The American Cancer Society ranks lung cancer as the second most common cancer in both men and women.

A screening program was created for those most at risk, but researchers report fewer than 2 percent of eligible current and former smokers have sought the scans.

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Research has found a combination of the DASH and Mediterranean diets can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and improve brain health.

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Your blood pressure reads higher at a clinic than in other settings. Many thought white coat hypertension was simply stress or nerves, but a recent study suggests there may be more to it.

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Exercise can play an important role in maintaining physical health. But it also can contribute to your mental well-being. 

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Artificial sweeteners are great for maintaining taste while cutting the calories, but they can work against you if you’re not careful.

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Sugar-sweetened beverages are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But many aren't aware just how much sugar is in every swallow. Too much can lead to health problems. 

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The rising use of e-cigarettes among teenagers has doctors worried about long-term health risks and calling for more regulation of the devices.

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Cancer treatment often involves chemotherapy and other toxic drugs, but a recent study again suggests hope of an organic approach.

In the study, Ajay Goel, director of gastrointestinal research at the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, found that grape seed extract can fight colon cancer.

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Physical fitness, diet and mental stimulation all contribute to good brain health. But you also need water — and lots of it.

On average, the human body contains about 60 percent water. Nearly all bodily systems depend on it, including the brain.

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A recently published study of 191 women found those who were highly fit in middle age decreased their risk for dementia by 88 percent compared to those who were moderately fit.

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Recent studies suggest even moderate consumption of coffee – one to four cups a day – may reduce the odds of colon cancer developing or recurring.

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More than eight million people have peripheral arterial disease or PAD, but relatively few know what it is. Ignoring the signs can have serious consequences.

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Souping, similar to juicing, has been popular in recent years as way to detox the body and to lose weight, but eating only soup for days at a time can cause problems, if you’re not careful.

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Some blame their weight gain on slow metabolism, which can affect the ability to keep off extra pounds, but other factors play a role.

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Ovarian cancer affects about 1 percent of women, but it has a high mortality rate — about 14,000 deaths each year. Still, new guidelines recommend women who are not at high risk for the disease should avoid screening for it.

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One option for treating an enlarged prostate in men involves an invasive form of surgery known to have serious side effects. A urologist in North Texas has been certified for a newer, minimally invasive form of treatment called UroLift.

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A new study has found more stroke victims may be saved from disability or death if doctors can remove blood clots that block circulation to the brain. It also found doctors may have more time than originally thought to perform the treatment.

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A sedentary lifestyle can lead to problems with heart health, but people with active lifestyles aren’t immune, according to a new study of longtime endurance runners.

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Studies have shown a high rate of suicide in the veterinary community. One of every six veterinary school grads in a 2014 CDC survey said they’d considered taking their own life.

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When it's cold outside, alcohol might feel like a way to fend off the winter chill, but health care experts warn alcohol and cold weather can be a bad combination if you’re not careful. 

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For many, a list of New Year’s resolutions tends to include losing weight. Before considering diets, gyms, expensive equipment and tech gadgets, a local dietitian offers some sensible ideas to help with weight reduction.

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A study from cardiologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources has found that exercise can reverse damage to the heart in a sedentary adult – if he or she does enough exercise in time. 

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Recently released guidelines have lowered the definition for high blood pressure, which increases the number of people identified as having hypertension and being at risk for serious medical problems because of it.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

The Forest Theater in the Fair Park neighborhood of Dallas will get a new lease on life. The Real Estate Council has awarded a million-dollar grant to renovate the former movie and performing arts venue, along with nearby retail space and exteriors. 

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When civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson in November announced he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he joined a long list of famous people — and thousands of other Americans — who live with the neurological condition.

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In the midst of cold and flu season, you also want to guard yourself against pneumonia. It’s a common disease with about a million cases a year requiring medical care. But it's also easy to mistake for other medical problems.  

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A new FDA-approved cell therapy holds promise for treating a form of blood cancer called multiple meyeloma. UT Southwestern Medical Center will soon begin clinical trials of CAR-T therapy to find out if it can succeed where older treatments have failed.

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Herbs and spices definitely enhance the flavor of food, but some believe, on their own, they can do the same for your health. A clinical dietitian at Parkland Hospital says there’s some truth to that, but there are limits.

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An estimated 660,000 Texans aren’t aware they have diabetes, and far more don’t know just how at risk they are for the disease. 

Prediabetes means that your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be Type 2 diabetes. Your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to completely normalize your blood sugars.

The condition has no symptoms.

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