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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Health/Science
6:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Vital Signs: Synthetic Drugs -- Even A Little Can Do A Lot Of Harm

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They’ve been linked to the death of a teenager in Frisco last year, and to dozens of recent overdoses in the Dallas area. In this edition of Vital Signs, Dr. Brett Roth of the North Texas Poison Center discusses two forms of synthetic drugs, the N-bomb (251 NBOMe) and he begins with a synthetic marijuana called K-2 or Spice.

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Health/Science
3:05 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Three Things You Should Know About Taking Statins That Lower Cholesterol

New guidelines were released earlier this month on who should take statin drugs to reduce cholesterol.
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New guidelines were released earlier this month on who should take statin drugs to reduce cholesterol. It turns out that those cholesterol numbers we’re so obsessed with may be less important than risk factors.

Amid controversy over the recommendations, we take a look at what statins are and how they work. In Vital Signs, KERA’s Sam Baker spoke with Dr. Roberto Wayhs, a cardiologist with Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas.

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Vital Signs
5:01 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Three Things You Should Know About Type 2 Diabetes

About 7 million Americans have undiagnosed diabetes.
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Actor Tom Hanks recently revealed he has the most common form of diabetes – type 2.

Those with type 2 diabetes don’t properly use insulin, which is needed to absorb sugar and starches in the blood.

Hanks has attributed the disease to both lifestyle choices and genetics. In the latest installment of KERA’s Vital Signs, Dr. Saleemah Fahmi, an endocrinologist at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains how those factors impact the disease.

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Health/Science
10:11 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Vital Signs: When The Brain's A Bit Out Of Place

A malformation of the head and brain occurring at birth can lead to a number of physical problems - or maybe even none at all.
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A malformation of the head and brain occurring at birth can lead to a number of physical problems - or maybe even none at all. In this installment of KERA's Vital Signs, Dr. Sabatino Bianco, a neurosurgeon with Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, talks about the two most common forms of Chiari.

Learn more about Chiari malformations.

Vital Signs
6:58 am
Mon October 7, 2013

New High-Dose Flu Shots For Seniors: Three Things You Need To Know

Senior citizens will have some extra protection this flu season: A new “high dose” version of the flu vaccine intended the boost the immune system of people 65 and older. In this installment of KERA’s Vital Signs, Dr. Adam McDaniel, an internist with Centennial Medical Center, explains how the new vaccine works.

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Vital Signs
1:00 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Chronic Illness And Mental Health

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Research shows high rates of depression among patients with chronic illnesses. It’s best to treat them both at the same time, but that can present problems for hospitals. Dr. Radha Kambhampati is Medical Director of Behavioral Health for Baylor Health Care System. It opened facilities in Garland and Irving in 2013 to address this issue. He talks about it in this edition of Vital Signs.

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Vital Signs
1:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Dementia: Why You Should Have Read Good Books Lately

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There’s no cure for dementia. But a study recently published in the journal Neurology found evidence to suggest reading, writing and playing games throughout your life can slow the disease's progress. Dr. Kevin Conner, a neurologist and the director of the Stroke Center at Texas Health Arlington Memorial hospital, explains why in this edition of Vital Signs. 


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Vital Signs
1:00 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Healthy Food Can Be Harmful If You're Not Careful

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The KERA Interview

Health officials are trying to find the source of an outbreak in North Texas of cyclosporiasis. Nearly 50 cases have been reported statewide - most of them in Dallas, Denton, Collin and Tarrant counties.  Cyclosporiasis is a foodborne illness that can cause severe diarrhea and other symptoms. Tarrant County Medical Director Dr. Sandra Parker talked about the disease with KERA’s Sam Baker in this edition of Vital Signs.

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Vital Signs
1:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Hope For Hot Flashes: New Treatment Is Hormone-Free

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The Food and Drug Administration’s approved a new treatment for the most frequent symptom of menopause: hot flashes. Brisdelle is significant because it doesn’t contain hormones – something many menopausal women have avoided as treatment since a 2002 study linked hormonal replacement therapy to breast cancer. Dr. Jill Waggoner, a family medicine specialist with Methodist Charlton Medical Center, talks about this with KERA’s Sam Baker in this week’s Vital Signs.


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Vital Signs
6:45 am
Mon July 8, 2013

One More Reason To Watch Your Mouth

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A dental exam will certainly spot cavities, gum disease and other signs of poor oral health, but research is showing the mouth can also show early signs of health problems elsewhere in the body. Dr. Charles Wakefield is a professor and director of the advanced education in general dentistry residency program at Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry. He shares some examples in this edition of Vital Signs.


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