Sarah Boden

Health And Science Reporter

Sarah Boden covers health and science 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.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Many anti-smoking efforts are focused on cigarettes, but new research from the University of Pittsburgh suggests that more energy should be spent discouraging the use of water pipes, or hookahs.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kerry Cannon, 31, of Bethel Park, works the salad bar at an Eat n' Park restaurant, a job she said she enjoys. She has Down syndrome, and said she has a good life. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

First-time candidate Sara Innamorato declared victory over a five-term incumbent in the Democratic primary for House District 21.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Asthma rates among elementary school students in the Northgate School District have dropped significantly since one of the region’s top polluters ended operations in 2016, according to preliminary data.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

A group of parents from the Fox Chapel School District is concerned about how their children’s health will be affected by hydraulic fracturing in the area. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

In Spring Hill, early 20th Century houses look out over cinematic views of downtown Pittsburgh. The front of 36-year-old resident Randal Miller’s home appears fine, but the back is a mess. Part of it was slammed by a landslide this February.

“The door broke in the first day,” he said. “It didn’t break in in a way that like you could move it, cause there’s like trees sticking through.”

Miller’s laundry room sustained the worst of the damage. Reddish mud and glass cake the floor and everything smell likes mildew.

Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social / Flickr

Seven out of 10 babies born to mothers with Hepatitis C at Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC are not screened for the virus, which can cause serious liver damage.

The information comes from a new study from the University of Pittsburgh, published last week in the journal Pediatrics, which looked at children who continued to receive pediatric care from UPMC through their second birthday.

Allegheny County Health Department

The Allegheny County Health Department reports the highest concentration of overdose deaths in the Pittsburgh region from 2008 to 2016 is an area covering parts of Mt. Oliver and neighborhoods on the southern side of Pittsburgh, like Allentown and Knoxville.

Feggy Art / Flickr

Legislation in the Pennsylvania House would prohibit health insurance companies from changing benefits or adding restrictions to coverage plans mid-year.

Damian Dovarganes / AP

Black Americans are living longer lives than they were a quarter century ago.

Maya Alleruzzo / AP

The sleep lab at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC looks like an extended stay hotel suite. There’s a small kitchen, sitting room and a nice TV. It’s clean and sparse, dark and quiet.

Markus Schreiber / AP

Pittsburgh-based pharmaceutical company Bayer is being sued for allegedly fraudulently marketing a birth control device that some women say has caused them significant harm.

Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and Sony Corporation are collaborating to create robots that can prepare and deliver food.

Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ

Robots designed by teams of teens from 53 schools in southwestern Pennsylvania will compete in a two-day, gladiator-style tournament starting Friday.

The aim of the Southwestern Pennsylvania BotsIQ competition, which is being hosted at California University of Pennsylvania, is to get high schoolers to think creatively and collaboratively, while also exposing them to careers in manufacturing.

BotsIQ executive director Michel Conklin said the robots are judged on a variety of criteria.

Dank Depot / Flickr

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana dispensaries may eventually be permitted to sell the product in plant form for vaping, after a vote by the state's medical marijuana advisory board recommended a change in the regulations. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Kelsey Bushnell just turned a year old. Like most babies, she’s very interested in grabbing new things and putting them in her mouth. On the day I visited her home, she was particularly fascinated with my microphone cord.

SUBCONSCI PRODUCTIONS / Flickr

Members of Pittsburgh's immigrant and refugee communities are dealing with a variety of issues that can make health care treatments challenging, according to a forum on Thursday hosted by Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Screenshot / Google Maps

A new University of Pittsburgh study asks whether a revenue model set to be introduced in six rural Pennsylvania hospitals next year can both reduce patient admissions and increase profits.

The program is expected to be implemented in 30 rural hospitals by 2023. Data from Pennsylvania's Department of Health Innovation shows that in 2015, 47 percent of all rural hospitals in Pennsylvania had negative operating profit margins

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

At the offices of Pittsburgh’s Creative Nonfiction Foundation in Garfield, high schoolers experiment with writing in the style of a storied American literary institution—The Onion, a satirical online newspaper.

AP Images

Later this year, the site of the D. T. Watson Home for Crippled Children will receive a historic marker from Pennsylvania’s Historical and Museum Commission; the Allegheny County facility was the first site where the polio vaccine was tested on humans. 

In the early 1950s, Dr. Jonas Salk and his team at the University of Pittsburgh were working to develop a vaccine using dead strains of the virus.

BLUE COAT PHOTOS / Flickr

The city of Pittsburgh’s technology staff have been closely watching the ransomware attack that rendered Atlanta’s municipal computers useless for nearly a week.

SalFalko / Flickr

Social Security numbers are used for just about everything--financial records, medical information, legal documents.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

It’s Wednesday and Chef Amy Reed, the general manager of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Café, is chopping cilantro. Around her are peels of salad carrots, red peppers and seasonings for Friday’s sold-out “Waste Not Dinner," a gourmet meal made from discarded foods.

“The peels are gonna go straight into the vegetable stock that we use to make to make the carrot risotto,” said Reed.

brian donovan / Flickr

A new report finds that Pittsburgh tech companies received $687 million in investments in 2017, which is the highest for a single year in the past decade.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Shouts of surprise and joy erupted Friday at noon from graduating students at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Garisha Peoples stands in the kitchen of her first floor Rankin apartment while preparing a Russet potato for lunch. She cuts off the ends of the fist-sized tuber and then pops it in the microwave.

Subconsci Productions / Flickr

People who retire early may be tempted to purchase so-called “skinny” health insurance plans before Medicare kicks in because they’re less expensive, but Pennsylvania’s Acting Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman told an AARP audience in Penn Hills on Wednesday that they should be careful when considering this type of insurance, as it’s not compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Charlie Riedel / AP

If everyone on the road is driving like a lunatic and your coworkers seem to be moving a little slower this week, take a deep breath, as many people probably haven't had enough rest due to the start of Daylight Saving Time.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

People marched through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon, holding signs and chanting slogans in support of paid sick leave.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Erika Strassburger made history Tuesday night as the first woman elected to represent Pittsburghers living in Oakland, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze on Pittsburgh’s City Council with 64 percent of the vote.

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