Dr. Maria Simbra
Since she joined KDKA-TV, Dr. Maria has reported on a variety of timely health care topics – from new medical technology, to trends in health care, to diseases that touch our community — with both insight and empathy. KDKA viewers have come to view her as a trusted member of their hometown news team.
As a physician with the added credential of an advanced journalism degree, she has been recognized for her work with the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Medical Communicators in 2006, two nominations for a Mid-Atlantic National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award in 2006 and 2007, and an Emmy award in 2008. She was named on Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 under 40″ list, honoring the area’s influential young people.
A leader in medical journalism — she served on the Association of Health Care Journalists Board of Directors from 2005 to 2007. She was elected to the National Association of Medical Communicators Board of Directors in 2007.
In addition to reporting for KDKA, she has been a clinical assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and was in private practice neurology in Beaver County prior to that. Transitioning into a new specialty, she is pursuing a masters degree in public health, focusing on how the mass media affect public health.
In 2001, she decided to explore her long-standing interest in mass media, and entered the journalism and mass communications masters program at Point Park University. By 2003, she had completed her M.A. in journalism and mass communications. She now teaches medical journalism to both journalism students and medical students at Pittsburgh area universities.
Her other teaching activities include serving as faculty on the NIH’s “Medicine and the Media Symposium” in July 2004, as a Hearst Visiting Professional at Arizona State University in September 2005, and as a conference panelist for the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality in July 2006. She has written for PLoS (Public Library of Science) Medicine, Neurology Reviews, and the Pittsburgh Business Times. Her book review of the Health Writer’s Handbook appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association. She’s been featured in USA Today and Television Week.
Dr. Maria is active in a wide range of professional organizations and also finds time for volunteer work. With local charities, she serves as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Alzheimer Association’s Annual Educational Program, she ran the Phoenix half-marathon for the American Stroke Association’s “Train to End Stroke,” she has been a panelist for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” event, she has been a guest speaker at the American Cancer Society’s fashion show luncheon, and she has opened the play “Tuesdays with Morrie” for the ALS Association, and chairs its annual “Walk to d’Feet ALS.”
Prior to embarking on her dual career as a physician and medical correspondent, she undertook studies at West Virginia University, where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in both biology and chemistry in 1989. In 1993, she earned her M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Maria grew up in Morgantown, W.Va. She and her husband, Jeffrey Burket, an infectious disease physician, reside in the western suburbs of Pittsburgh. They welcomed their beautiful daughter into the world in January 2009.
Many people who are obese and can’t lose weight on their own turn to bariatric surgery. However, for people who are afraid of surgery or who think the idea is just too radical, there soon may be a new option.
There are a lot of people who are allergic to dogs, cats and other pets. But did you know that pets can have allergies, too?
A new therapy is being explored that will stop potentially deadly aneurysms from bursting.
There’s a new treatment for MS patients who’ve tried everything and have yet to find something that works for them.
You may have already noticed it – the dreaded sneezing, itchy eyes and scratchy throat that comes with allergy season.
KDKA-TV health editor Dr. Maria Simbra explains why some are calling for a closer look at a certain group of antibiotics.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans get a knee replacement every year. Instead of a one-size-fits-all type of approach, what if you could customize the new knee to be exactly the same shape and size as your old one?
Angelina Jolie says she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last week to ensure she has a long life with her husband and six children.
Treating brain tumors can be difficult, especially if they’re rare or are in a particularly complicated part of the brain. Now, a combination of technologies is helping to map out a better treatment.
If you usually go for diet soda instead of regular to cut out a few calories, you may want to rethink your strategy.
Doctors have come up with a new term to describe the pain many tech-savvy people are experiencing – Text Neck.
An FDA advisory panel unanimously recommends approval of an injectable drug called deoxycholic acid which dissolves fat. In studies of injections under the chin, MRI scans showed decreased fat over several weeks.
In an encouraging development for consumers worried about antibiotics in their milk, a new Food and Drug Administration study showed little evidence of drug contamination after surveying almost 2,000 dairy farms.
When were the last two times you had the flu?
Would you prefer to see a doctor in person or by computer?