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.
New research is showing the brains of anxious kids might actually be different than those of other kids.
Jennifer Hoeft is no stranger to breast cancer.
Doctors are now finding that gestational diabetes is more common than they thought.
Allegheny County is experiencing a high number of whooping cough cases with 51 confirmed and probable cases reported so far this year compared to about 47 cases reported in all of 2013.
From daily multivitamins to those specifically for heart health, bone health, skin health, and now eye health — vitamins have quickly become a multi-billion dollar business.
Marissa Graham has fair skin that burns easily.
Sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Now, add hearing loss to the list.
Jerry Webb was diagnosed with type two diabetes a year ago. The disease runs in his family.
You don’t necessarily have to be old and frail to get osteoporosis. It is possible to have it when you’re younger – even in your 40s and 50s.
At 38 years old, dental patient Jery Lobrow’s teeth are showing signs of aging.
When parents get divorced, kids can have a number of struggles.
Grace Tejchman is well aware her bones are getting older.
Forget what you think you know about heart disease. There’s new information that’s shaking things up a bit.
Rather than sit out their favorite activities, a lot of local people are taking advantage of a new procedure to fix a hip problem that doesn’t involve major surgery.
With pool season kicking off this weekend, experts say it’s a good time to remind everyone about sun safety.