Keith Seinfeld

Health & Science Reporter/Assistant News Director

Keith Seinfeld has been KPLU’s Health & Science Reporter since 2001, and prior to that covered the Environment beat. He’s been a staff reporter at The Seattle Times and The News Tribune in Tacoma and a freelance writer-producer. His work has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Keith's stories prior to Nov. 2010 can be found at our old website archives. And, more stories are at his KPLU blog, Science and Wonder.

You can also check out his "Weather with Cliff Mass" weekly interviews.

Keith’s most memorable KPLU radio moment: “Watching brain surgery on a patient with Parkinson’s Disease. When the doctor pulled out a pretty hefty hand-held drill, I realized: It may be a hi-tech procedure, but you still have to put a hole in the skull, while the patient’s awake.”

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medical care
2:19 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Doctor will see you anytime you want, via webcam

Dr. Ben Green (left) tests a new webchat service launching this week.
Carena

The days of using an emergency room when you have a confusing late-night or weekend illness may be numbered. New telemedicine services are expanding in Washington – which allow you to see a doctor using a webcam.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:11 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Goodbye drizzle: Spring-like winter weekend in store

Johncuthbert43 Flickr

Several days of drizzle are giving way to a pleasant--and unseasonably warm--weekend.

The best day for outdoor plans should be Saturday, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.

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Food
2:57 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

The real reason no one buys produce in low-income areas

Fresh produce has replaced "Cold Drinks" at Fresh and Green Market in Tukwila.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

What if fresh foods were easier to find in lower income neighborhoods?  Would that lead to less obesity and disease? 

King County has been testing this idea by offering store-owners a free “makeover” to help them sell fresh produce.

They discovered: selling fresh fruits and vegetables poses surprising challenges. Some are cultural, since many small stores are owned by recent immigrants. Others involve the hidden world of produce wholesaling.

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Medicine
9:55 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Been to the Emergency Room a Lot? Let’s Talk

If you’ve been to an emergency room in Washington in recent months, you're probably in a new database.

The goal is to treat more injuries and illnesses outside the emergency department, in a simpler setting, which should save money, curb drug abuse and also benefit patients.

Washington's hospitals and doctors have agreed to enter some basic information about their emergency patients into a computer system. Once you hit your fifth emergency visit per year, the hospital will assign a case manager to look at your records.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:13 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Damp, not too cold -- a classic NW weekend

For a weather forecaster, this weekend is looking "pretty boring," says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Washington and KPLU's weather expert.

Some showers will blow through, but nothing dramatic. The mountains should get a little snow, but not enough to snarl traffic on the passes. Sunday should be a bit drier.

And what about snow in the city this winter?

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drugs
5:26 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Prescription overdose deaths drop again in Washington

Prescription painkillers
massdistraction Flickr

Drug overdose deaths are on the decline across Washington, at least when it comes to prescription painkillers.

Those pills have been under scrutiny since overdose deaths rose dramatically starting in 1998. They reached a peak in 2008, killing more than 500 people that year.

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architecture
12:41 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Designers hope to prevent "lost" in the hospital with "wayfinding"

The giant orca whale is still at Seattle Children's, but now it's part of the "ocean" zone
Keith Seinfeld kplu

Getting lost in an airport or giant hospital can be like getting lost in a giant maze. So, there's a risk when a hospital remodels and abandons its familiar landmarks.

But, Seattle Children’s hospital is hoping its new navigation system is better--and even will reduce stress and be fun. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:17 am
Fri January 18, 2013

How to avoid that stagnant air, which is here 'til Tuesday

Chris Blakeley Compfight

In some places, such as eastern Washington farms, they actually use giant fans to disrupt the inversion that causes stagnant air (which is what we've been experiencing for a week, and can leave frost on fruit trees).

But, KPLU weather expert and UW professor Cliff Mass says those fans won't work in western Washington, because the natural forces creating the inversion are too strong. Instead, he suggests taking a hike.

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vaccines
3:32 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

How good is the flu shot?

The Associated Press

You may have heard this year’s flu shot is about 60% effective. To be precise, the official estimate is 62%, and it's based on research conducted partially at Group Health Cooperative in Washington.

What does that mean for you? How can someone use that information?

And, how did they arrive at a number like 62%?

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boeing
6:15 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Lithium batteries had problems in laptops, before the Dreamliner

This burned battery was in a JAL Boeing 787 that caught fire on Jan. 7 at Boston's Logan Airport
NTSB

With its fleet of 787 Dreamliners grounded indefinitely, Boeing is looking carefully at the lithium-ion batteries that power much of its innovative electronics. 

These hi-tech batteries are also used in many popular gadgets, from laptop computers to iPhones to electric cars. They make your devices lightweight, and they recharge quickly.

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obamacare
12:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Notice our new building? Health clinics prepare for bigger role

Spiffy new clinic in Bothell is open to everyone
Keith Seinfeld kplu

Physical signs of President Obama’s health care law are springing up across western Washington. Wherever you live, there’s probably one nearby. They’re medical clinics that cater to low-income people--and they are in growth mode.

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Global Health
3:49 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

How one of the largest relief efforts ever affects Haiti, 3 years later

At the Tapis Vert camp in Port-au-Prince last month, Mileine Pierre, 34, and her two daughters were living in this tent. They were displaced by the 2010 earthquake.
AP Photo

What happens when you have a thousand humanitarian groups, from the Red Cross and World Vision to small local groups, all converge on the poorest country in the Western hemisphere?

This weekend marks three years since a massive earthquake killed at least 200,000 people and left about a million homeless in Haiti. The international response was one of the largest outpourings of money and assistance ever. Humanitarian groups, including some from the northwest, are still trying to help people recover.

Whether the international effort to save lives and improve Haiti has been a success is hotly debated.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:13 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Slippery roads, but lots of sunshine ahead

Alex Vernon Seattle

If you were up early this morning, you might have found ice on your patio or steps, and maybe on the streets. The current cold weather pattern, caused by a ridge off the Pacific coast, means the black ice hazard is high, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

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Politics
6:28 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Minority leaders support McGinn re-election, with emotion

Leaders of community groups are backing Mayor Mike McGinn
Keith Seinfeld kplu

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says he’s seeking a second term, despite the presence of several high-profile, well-funded challengers. He launched his campaign Wednesday with a big group of supporters in south Seattle, at the Filipino Community Center.

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mental health
6:24 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Eating disorders flare up during holiday season

For anyone who loves holiday meals, the last hurrah comes tonight or perhaps New Years Day. But, those big buffet-styles meals are tough on people with eating disorders.

The evidence comes from a surge in people seeking treatment this time of year. 

For the complete story, click the "listen" button above.

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