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.”


health reform
2:51 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Most young adults won't pay more for coverage under Obamacare

Associated Press

If the price tag for health insurance goes up under Obamacare, it’s likely to hit some policy holders in their 20s, economists have warned. Now that the first round of numbers are available in Washington state, we can see whether that’s the case.

If the price tag for health insurance goes up under Obamacare, it’s likely to hit some policy holders in their 20s, economists have warned. Now that the first round of numbers is available in Washington state, we can see whether that’s the case.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:29 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Mass: Half-and-half weekend, then not so pretty next week

If you liked the light rain falling this morning, you'll get a bit more on Saturday, and possibly Sunday morning, says Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

On the other hand, if you're looking for some good outdoor times, Mass says we should dry out Sunday afternoon.

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health care reform
4:51 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Small businesses in Washington lose out on subsidized health plans

Veronica Rios, left, has her blood pressure taken by medical assistant Elizabeth Garza, center,as Rios' husband, Miguel Tamayo, and their daughter Paula look on at right, at the Country Doctor Community Clinic in Seattle, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Small businesses in Washington state will not be able to participate in the new health care law, because not enough insurance companies were willing to sell them coverage. 

The biggest part of Pres. Barack Obama’s new health care law is aimed at people with no health insurance. Starting this fall, they’ll be able to buy individual health policies from an online system where they can compare prices. It's also where you can get subsidies for insurance. In Washington state, it's called Washington HealthPlan Finder.

If you work for a business with fewer than 50 employees, the law says your employer has the option of getting insurance for low and middle-income workers—with subsidies. That won’t happen in Washington, at least not on time.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:24 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Mass: Mother Nature to spoil outdoor Mother's Day plans

Justin Steyer

All you need is a quick look out the window to see a gorgeous day in store for Friday, with none of those morning clouds we've been seeing all week.

The day is the last “almost perfectly sunny and warm” day we’ll see this weekend, says Cliff Mass, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington.

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4:13 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Under new law, CPR training mandatory in Wash. high schools

Associated Press

Starting this fall, all high school students will get CPR training under a new mandate signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The students don’t have to get certified in CPR—the proposal for certification was rejected as too cumbersome for public schools. But the state-mandated health class, which kids typically take in 9th or 10th grade, will now include a day or two of CPR training. 

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3:03 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Born between '45 and '65? Get tested for hepatitis C, says CDC

Dr. Paul J. Pockros, head, Division of Gastroenterology/ Hepatology and director, Liver Disease Center, talks with patient Loretta Roberts as they view her liver on a computer screen in his exam room at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, in this photo t
Lenny Ignelzi Associated Press

A silent epidemic in the baby-boomer generation has health officials urging widespread testing. It’s hepatitis C, which can quietly infect your liver for years, leaving tiny scars but without showing any symptoms. 

Left untreated, you end up with cancer or in need of a transplant.

Now, a new battery of tests and better treatments are arriving, just as boomers reach an age when their livers could suddenly fail.

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preview of summer
2:21 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Balmy Monday breaks records in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia

A couple is seen enjoying the weather on Alki Beach on Monday, May 6, 2013.
Justin Steyer

May 6 isn’t known for much. Perhaps it languishes in the shadow of its older sibling, Cinco de Mayo.

But at least this year, May 6 saw something special when the mercury climbed to a record-breaking high of 87 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport around 5 p.m., crushing the past record high of 79 set in 1957.

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Health care & religion
12:49 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Fears of a Catholic monopoly dominate talk of hospital mergers

Washington is one of the least religious states in the country, but when it comes to health care, it has some of the fastest growing religiously-affiliated hospitals, partly because so many hospitals are merging.

The trend has some communities worried about losing access to certain medical procedures—if they’re not allowed under church teachings. 

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:31 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Mass: Welcome to a weekend that will get better and better!

Friday's glorious sunrise over Snohomish, Wash. is seen in this photo.
Jonathan Cooper

"We have an extraordinary weekend ahead," says KPLU's weather expert Cliff Mass. "And In fact, it's probably not going to rain until at least next weekend as well."

Friday will warm up to lower 70s with “no precipitation anywhere,” says Mass, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington. “And it just cranks up over the weekend."

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NBA in Seattle
2:37 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

NBA committee recommends denial of Kings move to Seattle

FILE - Sacramento (Calif.) Mayor Kevin Johnson, center, is joined by Vivek Ranadive, left, and California state Sen. Darrell Steinberg during interviews Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in New York.
Richard Drew Associated Press

It appears there will be no professional basketball in Seattle this year.  

The NBA’s relocation committee has favored keeping the Kings franchise in Sacramento, turning down a bid to revive the Sonics. 

The unanimous vote leaves a number of questions about what happens next for investor Chris Hansen and his attempts to bring the Sonics back to Seattle.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
9:13 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Mass: Back to cooler and wetter days, but be thankful for normal

monagirl Flickr

Be thankful for normal, even if it's not sunny and warm, says Cliff Mass, KPLU's weather expert and a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

"The interesting thing about this spring is it's been really normal. It's really normal to have some periods where it's above normal and below normal," says Mass, adding he's not quite a prophet of doom; maybe the "prophet of deterioration."

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health and schools
5:01 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Help coming to protect students with allergies

Nurses, teachers and other school staff will likely have more flexibility next fall to give adrenaline shots if a student goes into allergic shock. Both houses of the Legislature have unanimously approved a bill that loosens restrictions on how and when schools can use an epinephrine injector. 

The change is meant to save the lives of kids who have a severe allergy, including some rare cases in which the first-ever reaction to a not-yet-diagnosed allergy takes place at school or on a field trip.

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sports medicine
10:24 am
Tue April 23, 2013

College athletes urged to get high-tech heart test

A portable electrocardiogram machine tests UW students for hidden heart ailments
Keith Seinfeld kplu

College and high school athletes are typically in top physical shape. Except a few have an invisible heart condition that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, where they drop dead on the court or field.

A new study by a group of physicians led by a team doctor for the University of Washington Huskies recommends all student athletes get a high-tech heart scan called an electrocardiogram, or EKG.

The catch is their doctors probably need additional training.

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Weather with Cliff Mass
10:15 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Coming soon to Puget Sound area: 'Extraordinarily warm period'

orcmid Flickr

Sick of the dreary weather? Fear not—a big change is coming, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“The cold and rain is going to turn into warmth and sun pretty soon,” says Mass, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Washington.

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