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.

Usually a monopoly results in bigger bills for consumers, since a lack of competition allows a business to demand high prices. But a new analysis from the University of Pittsburgh finds that's not always the case for the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Two western Pennsylvania health care giants have a deal that averts the looming breakup of their business relationship, an agreement that prevents disruption and higher costs for many patients.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Many people look into their family histories because it gives them a sense of identity. Black Americans often hit brick walls when doing this research, and some are turning to DNA testing to illuminate lost branches of their family trees.


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Addiction treatment needs to be integrated with other aspects of patients’ lives, according to presenters at the Pittsburgh-based Institute for Research, Education and Training in Addictions. Those aspects include stable housing and employment, adequate social support and other chronic health issues.

Learning a new skill can be tricky, and neuroscientists aren’t entirely sure how humans do it.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are using video games, brain implants and Rhesus monkeys in an effort to figure it out. 

UPMC announced Thursday that the Hillman Cancer Center would accept all insurers, including Highmark commercial and Medicare Advantage plans. 

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it will post a monthly list of underperforming nursing homes. This comes after Pennsylvania’s two US Senators released a report highlighting a lack of federal oversight of these facilities.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

A recent analysis by the Pittsburgh-based Jewish Healthcare Foundation finds that just 50 percent of eligible Pennsylvanians receive assistance from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC.

TOBY TALBOT / AP

Telemedicine has the potential to connect people in rural communities to health care providers who might otherwise take hours to reach by car. But a new University of Pittsburgh study finds that many of these places lack the infrastructure to actually make telemedicine possible.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state Supreme Court Tuesday kept alive hopes that people with Highmark insurance can continue using UPMC doctors, finding that a provision in a five-year consent decree was too ambiguous to make a definitive ruling.

Rachel Gobep / UPMC

Dozens of UPMC workers and allies rallied Tuesday outside UPMC Montefiore Medical Center, ahead of the health service’s annual public meeting. Employees say the nonprofit has harassed and intimidated workers who try to unionize for better pay and benefits.

Carnegie Mellon University

  

University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing emergency medicine technology for the U.S. military that uses artificial intelligence.

GENE J. PUSKAR / AP

On Tuesday, some of UPMC's service workers will strike during the nonprofit health service's annual public board meeting for its Shadyside and Presbyterian hospitals. Workers plan to go on strike as early as 7 a.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Wednesday. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Thursday on whether to extend a consent decree that would force UPMC to continue taking Highmark insurance.

Damian Dovarganes / AP

The Allegheny County Health Department reported two new cases of measles Wednesday.

Carnegie Mellon University

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Tokyo and Waseda University in Tokyo are developing a suitcase that helps visually impaired people navigate airports. 

Sarah Boden / WESA News

The Allegheny County Health Department administered 44 doses of the measles vaccine at a free clinic held Wednesday at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA. 

MARC LEVY / AP

Some people entering Pennsylvania’s state-run prisons will soon be able to get medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorder.

Starting on June 1, new inmates can continue taking suboxone and oral naltrexone if they have prescriptions. Methadone will eventually be available too.

These medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid dependency. Naltrexone, known by the brand-name Vivitrol, also aids with alcohol use disorder.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

An Allegheny Health Network chemist is developing a longer-lasting version of naloxone, to stop people from slipping back into overdose.

REID FRAZIER / STATEIMPACT PENNSYLVANIA

The Allegheny County Health Department has formally requested to join a federal lawsuit against U.S. Steel

On Monday a man went to the UPMC Shadyside emergency room where he was diagnosed with measles.

This disease is highly contagious and can be airborne for up to two hours after an ill person leaves an area, which is why doctors say people who think they might have measles should not go the ER or physician’s office. Instead, call your primary care doctor who will advise you of next steps.

Toby Talbot / AP

Last week, a rabid raccoon was found in Frick Park, making it the sixth animal to test positive for the disease in Allegheny County this year.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Just one day after a gunman killed one and wounded others at a synagogue near San Diego, locals gathered to remember the 11 people killed in Pittsburgh six month ago in a similar massacre targeting Jewish worshipers.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warned in 2016 that people became sick from fentanyl through skin contact or inhalation, but the American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology released a joint statement in 2017 that said the chances of becoming ill this way are “extremely low." 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers can now get free stickers, buttons and window decals that say, “We have Narcan in case of emergency.”

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear oral arguments next month regarding whether to extend the expiration date of a consent decree between Pittsburgh-area health care rivals UPMC and Highmark. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network is implementing and expanding programs to treat substance use disorders. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

A Gibsonia-based manufacturer produces a type of bed that keeps kids from wandering at night.

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Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is asking the state Supreme Court to extend in-network access for Highmark-insured patients at UPMC facilities beyond June 30.

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