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.
simbra dr maria web 2015 Dr. Maria Simbra facebook icon Dr. Maria Simbra twitter icon Dr. Maria Simbra email icon Dr. Maria Simbra

VITALS
Joined KDKA: 2002
Hometown: Morgantown, West Virginia
Alma Mater: Chemistry & Biology: WVU; Medicine: Pitt; Journalism: Point Park U; Public Health: University of Minnesota

FAVORITES
Music: Florida Georgia Line
Movie: “Bull Durham”
TV Show: “Fixer Upper”
Book: “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies”
Hobbies: Country Line Dancing
Sports Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Food: Roasted Brussel sprouts
Local Restaurant: Cucina Bella
Sport/Exercise: Running
Historical Figure: Louis Pasteur, Watson & Crick, and Nellie Bly
Favorite Pennsylvanian: Andy Warhol
Quote: “Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.”
Word: Coffee?
Holiday: Thanksgiving – It is the essence of all holidays.
Guilty Pleasure: Ice cream cones with my daughter, pedicures, and Kevin Costner movies

THIS OR THAT
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook for fun. Twitter for news.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Maroon 5
Comedy or Tearjerker? Comedy. Laughter is the best medicine.
Phone Call or Text Message? The function I use least on my phone…is my phone.
Coffee or Tea? Weekdays are for Keurig. Weekends are for Krups.
Morning Person or Night Person? Middle of the day person.
East Coast or West Coast? Two-step
Star Trek or Star Wars? BOTH! And X-Files, too!

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. She was bestowed the Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence Award in 2015 and 2016.

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.

most recent stories2 Dr. Maria Simbra

3D Printing Providing Surgeons With Valuable Pre-Operation Information

Cutting-edge technology is making surgeries safer for patients and easier for doctors.

06/15/2018

Study: More Than One-Third Of U.S. Adults Use Prescription Drugs With Depression, Suicide As Potential Side Effects

A new study suggests more than a third of American adults take prescription medications that have depression listed as a potential side effect.

06/13/2018

Tiny Stent Treatment For Pancreatitis Is Making Big Breakthroughs

Every year, thousands of Americans get pancreatitis. It’s painful and potentially life-threatening, but now, a tiny breakthrough is providing big relief.

06/08/2018

Different Kind Of Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Showing Promising Signs

While there is no cure, a different kind of treatment for Parkinson’s disease is showing promise.

06/04/2018

‘Chemo Bath’ Being Used To Target Difficult To Treat Cancers In Abdomen

When cancer forms in places like the abdomen, it can be hard to target the treatment. But, there is an approach that can fight it.

05/31/2018

U.S. Approves 1st Drug Developed To Prevent Chronic Migraines

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first new class of migraine drugs to stop headaches before they even start.

05/18/2018

Robotic Guide Dogs To Medical Testing: Hundreds Of Young Scientists Compete In Science & Engineering Fair

From all over the world, 1,800 young scientists have come to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

05/17/2018

Once-A-Day Pill Offers Safe, Effective Relief From Morning Sickness

Morning sickness during pregnancy is no joke, but now there’s a new and simple way to prevent it.

05/10/2018

Immunotherapy Offering New Approach To Treating Cancer

Traditionally, doctors have looked at where a cancer is coming from to target therapy. But, a new approach has come about in the last few years with medicines called immunotherapy.

04/26/2018

UPMC Looking For Participants For Depression, Dementia Study

Because depression can foreshadow dementia, researchers at UPMC are looking for 300 participants willing to make a two-year commitment to a study on brain structure and function along with blood tests and physical and mental challenges

04/20/2018

Children’s Book Cart Bringing Comfort To NICU Babies, Parents

Having a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit can put a lot of stress on parents, but some generous donations have helped bring some much-needed relief for families.

04/12/2018

Liver Condition Reaching Epidemic Levels In United States

It’s a condition most people have never heard of, but it’s at epidemic proportions nationwide.

04/04/2018

Simple Treatment For Relieving Serious Leg Pain Problem Now Covered By Insurance

Pain while walking and cramping in your legs could be a sign of a pretty serious condition, but there could be a relatively simple solution to fix it.

03/23/2018

Can The Proper Amount Of Sleep Help Keep The Flu, Colds Away?

If you’ve managed to escape the flu so far, there’s one thing you can do to increase your chances of preventing yourself from getting sick.

03/07/2018

New Study Examines Health Effects Of Inducing Labor For Pregnant Women

A study, including more than 6,000 healthy women in their first pregnancy at 41 hospitals across the United States, including Magee-Womens Hospital, looked at the outcomes of inducing labor as opposed to letting it happen on its own.

03/06/2018

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