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.

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Karen Shakerdge

At 44-years-old Dave Adox was facing the end of his two year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He needed a ventilator to breathe and couldn’t move any part of his body, except his eyes. Once he started to struggle with his eyes – his only way to communicate – Adox decided it was time to die.

Karen Shakerdge

In a big hotel conference room in Times Square, six doctors huddle around a greasy piece of pork. They watch as an addiction medicine specialist, Michael Frost, delicately marks the meat, incises it and implants four match-sized rods.

“If you can do it well on the pork, you can easily do it on the person,” Frost tells his audience.

Frost is training the group of doctors to implant the newly FDA-approved drug Probuphine. 

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