Dr. Maria Simbra

simbra dr maria web 2015 Dr. Maria Simbra

(Source: KDKA-TV)

Dr. Maria Simbra is a multi award-winning medical journalist, who brings a unique set of skills to her position as medical reporter on KDKA-TV. A member of the KDKA news team since May 2002, this physician and formally trained journalism professional provides expert and informative reports on the health care issues that affect our hometown residents the most.

On 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 awarded the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association Award in 2011, and the SWPA Media & Mental Health Award in 2013. In 2014, she was a Golden Quill finalist. In 2015, she was bestowed the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence Award.

A leader in medical journalism, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the National Association of Medical Communicators.

In addition to reporting for KDKA, she has been a clinical assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and prior to that was in private practice neurology in Beaver County. 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 communication masters program at Point Park University. By 2003, she had completed her M.A. in journalism and mass communication. She has taught 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. In 2012, She was the commencement speaker for Master’s Degree Hooding and Degree Conferral for her J-school alma mater, Point Park University. 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.

Before her careers in medicine and television, 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, and their daughter reside in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

New, Less-Invasive Procedure Used To Clear Heart Stent Blockages

Stents help open blocked blood vessels in the heart, but what happens when those stents get blocked?


Photo: KDKA

New Study Examines Allergy Causes In Schools

For allergies at home, pets and dust mites are common triggers and can lead to asthma attacks. But what about at school?


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Study Suggests Being Optimistic Could Lead To Longer Life

A new study suggests being optimistic could help people live longer.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Task Force: Low-Dose Daily Drug Can Reduce Risk Of First Heart Attack, Stroke

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises all middle-aged people with even one risk factor for heart disease take a cholesterol-lowering drug called a statin to prevent having a heart attack or stroke in the first place.


Stock image (Photo Illustration by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Study: Baby Aspirin Every Day Can Keep 1st Heart Attack, Cancer Away

Should you take aspirin every day to live longer?


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Eye Injuries On The Rise In Youth Sports

When it comes to sports-related injuries, you probably think of concussions and broken bones. As turns out, there are also a lot of eye injuries, especially in youth sports.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Doctors Finding Ways To Combat Pain Medication Addiction

For some people, prescription painkillers are a gateway to drug abuse.


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Local Doctors Pioneer Procedure For Foot Pain Relief

A local breakthrough in treating foot pain is getting worldwide attention.


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Study: Using Sunscreen Daily Could Reverse Sun Damage Effects

For years, we’ve heard about how to prevent sun damage to your skin, but what can you do if you already have it?


Photo: KDKA

New Medicine More Cost-Effective In Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in multiple joints, which leads to swelling, pain, stiffness, and usually, loss of function.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Determining Cause Of Winter Allergies Can Prove Difficult

When you think of seasonal allergies, you probably think spring, or even summer. However, winter allergies can be just as bad.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

New Lens Implant Offers Hope For Cataract Surgery Patients

A new, FDA-approved lens implant offers near, intermediate and distance focus for patients who undergo cataract surgery.


(Source: Allegheny Health Network)

New Bronchial Thermoplasty Treatment Showing Promise For Asthma Patients

For people patients struggling with asthma and the treatments, something new has come along called bronchial thermoplasty.


Stock picture (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New Drug Showing Promise In The Treatment Of Cancer

Three years ago when Linda Malsch found a lump under her arm – she feared it was cancer. She was right, though she was surprised to hear what type of cancer.


(Photo Credit: KDKA)

New Treatment Showing Promise In Reducing Appearance Of Scars

Cuts and scrapes don’t have to mark you for life.




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