Dr. Maria Simbra
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.
Do children do too much homework in elementary school?
You may not think it’s anything, but sometimes seemingly innocent issues can point to hidden health problems.
How do you discipline your children, and does it work?
What if knee surgery was more precise, customized from patient to patient, and had a speedy recovery? Some doctors are now using robots designed specifically for knee replacements.
The problem with most skin treatments is they just don’t last. Now, a new breakthrough could change that, but it’ll cost you.
Young people are facing a life-threatening problem – all because of a drink that’s completely legal.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that affects millions of Americans, and while there is no cure, new research is happening every day.
A new study looked at the key to faster, more efficient weight-loss for women. As it turns out, it’s harder to get rid of fat as you age.
If you find a tick on you or your kids, that does not automatically mean you have Lyme disease.
There’s a new, non-invasive way to test for diabetes and it can actually predict who might be at greater risk of getting it.
Are you tired of all the sneezing and watery eyes? Now, there’s a new, less time-consuming way to treat allergies.
What if you could vaccinate your pets against Lyme disease? But, if there’s a vaccine for them, why is there not one for humans?
We all know about the importance of sunscreen in preventing skin cancer.
When it comes to winter versus summer, which do you like better?
The Allegheny County Health Department announced the number of Lyme Disease cases has nearly doubled over the last decade.