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 produces a weekly series, Jazz in Words and Music, for Reading and Radio Resources, an agency serving the visually impaired. He also serves on the board of Southwest Transplant Alliance, a private non-profit organization that provides organs and tissues for transplantation.

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Vital Signs
6:45 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Middle-Aged Women and Depression: More Than Just A Mid-Life Crisis

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A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found women ages 40 to 59 have the highest rate of depression of any group based on age or gender.

Dr. Quazi Imam is medical director of the Texas Health Behavioral Health Center at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. He talked about some of factors behind the findings in this edition of Vital Signs.

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Vital Signs
6:43 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Another Reason To Avoid Diabetes: Memory Loss

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Researchers have found people diagnosed with diabetes in their 50s are significantly more likely than others to suffer mental decline by their 70s.

In this week’s Vital Signs, Dr. Angela Bentle, a geriatrics and internal medicine specialist with Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains why this seems to occur in middle age than with younger people.

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Vital Signs
4:28 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Energy Drinks: Too Much 'Boost' For Small Children

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A recent survey for the American Heart Association found 40 percent of more than 5,100 calls to poison centers for "energy drink exposure" involved children under the age of six. Consuming the drinks at that age can have serious consequences. 

In this edition of Vital Signs, Mike Yudizky, Public Health Education Manager of the North Texas Poison Center, says the problem is the high amount of caffeine.

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Government
6:40 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Veterans' Mental Health Care: 'Filling In The Gaps'

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The state moves forward today on a project to improve mental health services for veterans.

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Vital Signs
6:39 am
Mon December 1, 2014

The Health Benefits Of Beer

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In this edition of Vital Signs – beer. It has health benefits, provided you don’t drink too much of it. Navin Hariprasad, a dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, has details.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Diabetes At Thanksgiving: Plan, Prepare and Practice

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While we all look forward to the holiday feast, people living with diabetes have to exercise caution. In this week’s Vital Signs, Sharon Cox, a dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, talks about ways to keep blood sugar levels stable.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Diabulimia: The Risk Some Diabetics Take To Avoid Weight Gain

Diabetics with diabulimia take less or no insulin to avoid unwanted pounds.
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They need insulin to survive, but some Type 1 diabetics will take less or none at all to avoid weight gain.

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One Crisis Away
6:19 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

New Alternative In Dallas To Payday Loans

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When faced with a financial emergency, some turn to payday or car title lenders. There’s about 175 of them in Dallas offering quick cash at great cost. The city and an Austin-based lender to small businesses have announced an alternative.

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Vital Signs
6:29 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Portion Distortion: You're Eating More Than You Think

20 years ago: Coffee with cream and sugar, 8 oz. 45 calories.
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One factor contributing to obesity and diseases like diabetes is portion distortion. The belief that the larger portions on today’s menus and shelves are normal and the size we should always consume.

In this edition of Vital Signs, dietitian Jamie Bass, a dietitian with Texas Health Harris Methodist Southwest Fort Worth explains the difference.

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Vital Signs
6:29 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Catheters: An Alternative To Open Heart Surgery For The Elderly

Surgeon manipulating a flexible catheter into patient during surgery.
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It’s common for the elderly to experience aortic stenosis, a hardening or narrowing of the aortic heart valve.

Open heart surgery’s the standard way to replace or repair the valve, but a less invasive procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is now available – an alternative that’s much easier on the elderly.

In this edition of Vital Signs, Dr. Sarah Gualano, an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Medical Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, explains how TAVR works.

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