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 January 19, 2015

RSV: A Respiratory Virus That Can Send Infants And Kids To The Hospital

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Amid high flu activity in North Texas, health officials also are tracking respiratory syncytial (sinSISHuhl) virus. In this edition of KERA's consumer health series Vital Signs, Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, explains why he calls RSV “probably the most important respiratory virus that most people have never heard of.”

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Vital Signs
6:45 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Why The Flu Vaccine's Still Your Best Shot Against Getting Sick

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Flu activity remains high in North Texas.  Dallas County has reported five flu-related deaths this season. There have been two in Tarrant County.

With Texas and 45 other states reporting widespread flu activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared a flu epidemic. Part of the blame goes to the current flu vaccine. It's less effective against Influenza A or H3N2 - the more severe strain causing the majority of cases.

However, Dr. Glenn Hardesty says get the shot, if you haven’t already. The emergency room physician at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital talked about the vaccine and the flu season in this edition of KERA’s consumer health series, Vital Signs. 

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Business/Economy
6:20 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Why DART Isn't Worried About Low Gas Prices

Bill Zeeble

Falling gasoline prices have not affected bus service operations in Dallas and Fort Worth. The T and DART buses use compressed natural gas (CNG). But low prices have been bad news for light rail service in the past. Not so this time around.

Morgan Lyons, vice president of communications for Dallas Area Rapid Transit, explains.

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Vital Signs
6:45 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Don't Take Your Feet For Granted: How To Take Better Care Of Them

Athletic Shoes: Good for support, running or walking
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Dr. Daralie Wilkerson, a podiatrist at Parkland Hospital says we don't stop to think about the long hours we spend on our feet during our normal daily routine - not to mention all those activities over the holidays like shopping, parties and extra cooking. Skin problems from winter weather don't help either.

Dr. Willkerson shares some tip to better care for your feet in this edition of Vital Signs. She begins with the crucial step of choosing the right shoe.

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Vital Signs
2:49 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Shingles: A Painful Reminder Of Chickenpox

Vaccine for Herpes Zoster (shingles)
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No one’s sure why. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found annual rates of shingles have been on the rise in the U-S. It’s a highly uncomfortable disease that strikes adults who’ve already had chickenpox.

Dr. Brian Jones, a family health physician with Methodist Family Health Center in Cedar Hill, talked about shingles in this edition of Vital Signs.

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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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