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.

Allegheny County Health Department

An asthma registry for children secured $300,000 in funding from the Allegheny County Board of Health on Wednesday. The registry could illuminate why certain areas of the county have higher rates of the chronic respiratory condition. 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Regular computers, including smart phones, can do a lot of cool stuff, but some datasets are so big that normal PCs just don’t cut it. When that’s the case, many researchers turn to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, which is planning to construct a faster, stronger machine next year.

TERESA CRAWFORD / AP

Approximately one in eight sexually active high school girls have experienced reproductive coercion in the last three months, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh.

Tony Dejak / AP

Seniors today are happier than previous generations, according to new findings from the University of Pittsburgh.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Authorities say an off-duty police officer was critically wounded in a shooting in Pittsburgh.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Furries are people who have created anthropomorphized versions of themselves, and a Pittsburgh-based researcher has found that up to 15 percent of people with this hobby have autism spectrum disorder. This number includes people who have been diagnosed with autism, but may or may not agree with the analysis, and people who have never received a diagnosis, but self-identify as autistic. 

Google Earth

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh said on Tuesday afternoon that it was likely a visitor introduced the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria to its facility, where it spread to six babies in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said on Monday that it’s possible to have both clean air and steel production in the Mon Valley.

Fetterman made his comments while flanked by union workers outside the U.S. Steel’s Clairton Coke Works.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Western Pennsylvanians breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week when it was announced that UPMC and Highmark had reached a 10-year agreement, though not everyone insured by Highmark will have access to all UPMC medical facilities.

Google Maps

Pittsburgh is a hub for technology research and development, but sometimes innovations bear questionable results.  

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. 

Google Maps

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.

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