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.
Ebola is a rare viral illness — and now the CDC has diagnosed a case in the United States.
London Glenn, 13, had the football.
For an area known for strip malls, the new kid on the block is a medical mall.
Two area schools notified parents Thursday they had students with confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68, or EV68.
Doris Haropulos is fighting for her life. The 79-year-old was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer last year after months of feeling bloated and nauseous.
A new generation of diagnostic tools may soon be able to sniff out all sorts of diseases using your breath, including various cancers, liver disease, kidney failure, diabetes, asthma and tuberculosis.
The Allegheny County Health Department is reporting that there are no confirmed cases of Enterovirus D68 in the southwestern Pennsylvania area despite reports earlier from two school districts.
Predicting how prostate cancer will progress has been much like flipping a coin. But a local discovery could change that.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Keeping pests away from fruits and vegetables can involve antibiotics and this could be dangerous for people. A case report in the “Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,” involves a 10-year-old girl […]
Not getting enough oxygen or blood flow to the brain of a premature baby can have long-lasting impact on strength, intellect and behavior.
Head lice affects as many as 12 million kids every year.
It’s called exfoliation syndrome. While it may sound like something having to do with your skin, it’s actually a dangerous eye condition.
A growing number of women are choosing to have a double mastectomy when diagnosed with cancer in just one breast.
Is what you eat… what you watch?
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — About 11 percent of adolescents in the United States have an episode of depression by age 18. “A combination of medicine and therapy can be effective, and in certain circumstances, either medicine […]