Sarah Boden

Science, Health And Tech Reporter

Sarah Boden covers health, science and technology for 90.5 WESA. Before coming to Pittsburgh in November 2017, she was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio where she covered a range of issues, including the 2016 Iowa Caucuses.

Sarah’s reporting has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday and WBUR's Here and Now. She has won multiple awards, including a regional Edward R. Murrow for her story on a legal challenge to Iowa's felon voting ban.

Martin Abegglen / Flickr

Dyslexia is a disability that hinders the brain’s ability to match sounds with letters. This affects reading, writing and spelling.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Middle-aged women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted, at work or otherwise, are more likely to have mental or physical health problems, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh.

The study looked at 304 nonsmoking women between the ages of 40 and 60, controlling for several factors like race, age and obesity.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The state of Pennsylvania is asking coders and designers to look at its data on the opioid crisis as part of a month-long hackathon to find new strategies to fight the epidemic.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A litany of health issues is arising as weather and temperatures become more severe, said emergency nursing experts at the national Emergency Nurses Association conference in Pittsburgh last week.

High on this list are illnesses related to poor air quality.

Office of National Drug Control Policy

Allegheny, Beaver and Washington counties will receive additional money to combat illegal activity related to the opioid epidemic as part of their recent High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area classification.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

 


On a sunny Saturday afternoon, a group of yoga instructors gathered at BYS Yoga’s third-floor studio, with big windows overlooking Carson Street. These yogis were the students, and they were there to learn a non-coercive instruction style, called trauma-informed yoga.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Labor organizers demonstrated outside UPMC headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday to highlight two August rulings by the National Labor Relations Board that found the state’s largest hospital system violated workers’ rights.

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

A clean needle exchange that provides free syringes to drug users could soon open in the Carrick neighborhood, making it the first needle exchange in the southern part of the city.

Jeff Chiu / AP

New research from Duquesne University finds when a patient requests a high dose prescription for a certain epilepsy medication, it could be a warning sign of illicit drug use.

Carnegie Mellon University

The dean of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science is leaving higher ed at the end of the year to lead Google Cloud AI.

DIANE CORDELL / Flickr

UPMC patients can get their flu vaccines starting this week, but unlike previous years, these immunizations were not manufactured with chicken eggs.

When Ray Santori was 10, his mother died. His father had died the year before, so an aunt and uncle near Pittsburgh took him in.

Not long after that at Saint Bernadette Church in Monroeville, Pa., Santori met Father William Yockey, who according to the recent grand jury report, sexually assaulted him for about two years.

Efrem Lukatsky / AP

A University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researcher has received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a pilot program to help HIV patients manage their chronic pain.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

“We’re still hiring humans” proclaims a billboard situated just east of the 31st Street Bridge near Lawrenceville. On the sign, a coy, Pixar-looking automaton beckons engineers and programmers to apply to nearly a dozen positions at Carnegie Robotics.  

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

US Steel says it will replace equipment, hire more staff, improve training and increase monitoring at its Clairton Coke Works plant.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A program that works to improve health outcomes by providing stable housing is expanding from Allegheny County to other parts of Pennsylvania.

Julio Cortez / AP

Bishop David Zubik said over the course of 30 years, the Pittsburgh Diocese has made changes in how it prevents and responds to accusations of clergy abuse, including psychological screenings of seminarians so as to identify potential issues in men before they enter the priesthood.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Similar to infant changing tables, an adult changing table is basically a cot, but one that’s sturdy enough to support several hundred pounds of weight, and can be adjusted for height. Many people may be unaware that these tables even exist, in part because there are so few of them. But they’re necessary.

Mark / Flickr

A new analysis estimates that Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana market will rake in $60 million in revenue this year, a number that's expected to quadruple to about $240 million by 2020.

Jim Stauffer / Flickr

The Allegheny County Health Department will spray select areas with pesticide Thursday evening, following recent samples of mosquitos that tested positive for West Nile Virus.

tengrrl / Flickr

The suicide rate among survivors of head and neck cancers is more than four times higher than suicide among the general U.S. population; male survivors of these cancers are six times more likely than females to commit suicide.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Pennsylvania is one of six states starting a pilot program providing reemployment services to people with a history of opioid use.

Funding comes from a $22 million grant overseen by the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly $5 million of which will go to Pennsylvania. The grant will run through the end of June 2019, and be administration by the state Department of Labor and Industry.

Daveynin / Flickr

A new health insurance rule from the Trump administration is being criticized by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The agency said the policy, issued Wednesday, would jeopardize those who buy health insurance on the individual market. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kids from the Homewood-Brushton YMCA recently explored outer space – by journeying to a Bridgeville business park.

The space-themed, three-day field trip was hosted by DDI tech workers, a leadership consulting company. They invited kids from the Y Creator Space program, which teaches, “innovation, collaboration, and problem-solving skills through projects involving 3D printing, robotics, graphic design, circuitry, engineering, and more," according to the program's website.

David Zalubowski / AP

Starting Wednesday, people with medical marijuana cards will be able to buy the product in dry leaf form at more than a dozen Pennsylvania dispensaries, including stores in Squirrel Hill and the Strip District.

Previously, medical marijuana first had to be processed into other forms, such as pills, liquids or topical ointments. Patients are still prohibited from smoking it, but can consume the product with a vaporizer.

Gov. Tom Wolf said the new policy increases access and options for consumers.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is back in compliance for the amount of lead in its drinking water, according to results from the latest round of testing showing levels at 10 parts per billion.

UPMC

A march is scheduled on Tuesday ahead of a public hearing at Pittsburgh’s city council about a proposed UPMC vision and rehabilitation hospital in Uptown.

Colin Charles / Flickr

New analysis from the University of Pittsburgh has found a link between alcohol and perceived physical attractiveness. In other words, “beer goggles” are real.

Researchers looked at data from some 1,800 people collected from 16 previous studies. Participants rated the attractiveness of people in photographs, about half were drinking, and the other sober.

The intoxicated group gave modestly higher scores.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh ranks fourth out of all large U.S. metropolitan areas in the number of days where the air posed moderate-to-serious health risks, according to new analysis from a statewide environmental organization.

Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research

The virtual reality simulation “Opioid Rescue” opens with an unconscious man lying on a basement floor next to an empty syringe.

“The first thing I’m going to do is try to talk to him and see if he’s conscious,” said Grace Mueller, an intern at the University of Pittsburgh’s Peter M. Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research, also known as WISER.

“Are you OK? Wake up!” a female voice asked the unconscious man.

“It seems like he’s not responding so I’m going to try and shake his shoulders,” she said.

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