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
10:49 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Early Onset: Alzheimer's Isn't Just For Old People

Doctor examines a patient's tonogram
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Of the five million people diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, as many as five percent were diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 60. It’s called early-onset (or younger-onset) Alzheimer's. Dr. Bassem Elsawy, a geriatrics expert with Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains in this edition of KERA’s weekly consumer health series, Vital Signs.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon July 14, 2014

New Study Holds Promise For Children With Depression

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In this edition of Vital Signs, treating depression in children and adolescents. A study at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas indicates cognitive behavioral therapy combined with medication can improve the long-term success of treatment. Dr. Betsy Kennard, who's with both institutions, is lead author of the study. 

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Drowning After You Leave The Water

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In this edition of Vital Signs, the rare occurrence of drowning after you’ve left the water. Dry drowning and wet or secondary drowning can be fatal if left unattended -- and the latter can go unnoticed for several hours before symptoms appear.

Dr. Glenn Hardesty, an emergency physician at Texas Health Arlington Hospital, explains.

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Business/Economy
6:28 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Texas Tribune Series: Few Protections For Workers In Texas 'Miracle' Economy

Workers help with construction of a building in Austin. Photo by Todd Wiseman.
Todd Wiseman The Texas Tribune

State officials have touted the so-called Texas “miracle” economy and its boost in oil and gas and construction.

The Texas Tribune investigative series "Hurting For Work" found little protection for workers in those industries because of lax regulation. For instance, the lead author of the series, Jay Root, says Texas is the only state that allows employers to opt out of providing workers’ compensation coverage.

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Vital Signs
6:28 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Dehydration: Pay Attention To Your Body To Avoid It

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It’s natural to sweat more in summer, but also dangerous if you’re not careful. In this edition of KERA's consumer health series, Vital Signs, Dr. Alexander Eastman, Interim Medical Director of Trauma at Parkland Hospital,  explains how to guard against dehydration.

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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.
Shutterstock

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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