Karen Shakerdge

Reporter/Producer, WXXI

Karen Shakerdge is a health reporter/producer for WXXI and Side Effects Public Media. From a young anthropology student to a documentary film producer to an oral historian and now radio reporter, Karen has been asking people questions about their lives in one way or another for almost 10 years.

The Association of Health Care Journalists recognized her story about liver transplantation with an Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. Her piece about breast density notification laws received a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Karen has a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Media Studies from The New School and M.A. from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Ways to Connect

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

Mary Rivera knew something wasn’t right, but she still didn’t go to the doctor. 

“I knew that my uterus wasn’t where it should've been, but I didn’t have any insurance at the time. To go to the hospital and have an operation seemed impossible,” Rivera said from her home in Manchester, New York.

In Betsy Irish’s room, it’s all about the music. There is a big boom box in the corner, framed CD jackets and a special box just for Christmas music.

She’s hanging out with her dad, David Irish, at her group house in a suburb of Rochester, N.Y. They’re doing one of their usual activities — reading the dictionary.

Karen Shakerdge

Attorney Ann Williams meets her 33-year-old client for the first time at a legal clinic in Rochester, NY.

She asks him questions about what it’s like to have one name and gender legally and another name and gender in his daily life.


Wally Gobetz/via Flickr

Increased coverage for transgender medical care and services are taking effect for Medicaid plans in New York.

The Department of Health has established that young people, under the age of 18, will now receive coverage for hormone therapy deemed medically necessary, according to the notice filed in the NYS Register.

Karen Shakerdge

David Hutchinson got health insurance for the first time in his life about a year ago. Now he’s worried he might lose it.


Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

People find themselves in all kinds of unexpected situations on or leading up to Election Day — including ending up in the hospital.

Nearly half of elderly non-voters say health problems kept them from voting in the past, according to Bloomberg. But being in the hospital shouldn’t keep you from voting. People that are hospitalized in many states can cast absentee ballots from their hospital beds, including in Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia and California.

Karen Shakerdge

The New York Milk Bank is small, spotless and noisy. Two massive stainless steel freezers are stocked with little glass bottles of pasteurized breast milk. A deep freezer in the corner is filled with bags of milk to be pasteurized.

Karen Shakerdge

Public health is due for an upgrade. That was one take-away of a recent lecture from a 20-plus year veteran of the field, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health 3.0 is what the Department of Health and Human Services has named its recent call to action to close significant health gaps - through collaboration across sectors to address systemic issues.

Karen Shakerdge

Dennis Rodgers flips over a bright pink piece of paper and rattles off his choices:  “Attempt resuscitation or do not attempt resuscitation... to do limited intervention or to take no medical intervention… whether to intubate or not to intubate.”

Karen Shakerdge

 

It was a busy summer for environmental safety workers at the school district in Rochester, New York, where employees sampled over 2,000 school water fixtures and replaced nearly 20 percent of them, after finding problematic levels of lead.

 

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