Ruby de Luna | KUOW News and Information

Ruby de Luna

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 1994

Ruby de Luna is a features reporter at KUOW. She had originally planned to go into TV, but ditched the idea after discovering public radio.  Ruby has reported on immigrant communities. She currently covers health care issues.  

Ruby is a transplant from Taipei, Taiwan. She holds a BA in communication from Seattle Pacific University. 

In the age of computer/digital audio editing, Ruby is proud to be one of the few old–schoolers who can still edit tape with a razor blade. In her free time she practices her knife skills on new recipes. 

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

Open enrollment for health insurance started last Saturday. It’s the time for people to buy a health plan, or to renew what they already have. And for the first time this year, the state’s health exchange is offering health plans for small businesses. 

Marcie Sillman interviews KUOW health reporter Ruby de Luna about some of the changes the Washington state Health Exchange has made. Last year more than a million Washington state residents signed up for health insurance through the Washington Health Plan Finder website.  Saturday is the first day of open enrollment. People need to sign up or renew their health care plans by February 15, 2015. 

Fourteen year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit died just before 5 p.m.Friday from her injuries.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Community health centers have been busier than usual. They’re seeing more patients, many of them newly insured.

The centers, which provide care for mostly low income families, are meeting the demand by branching out to remote, underserved communities. But the challenge now is finding enough providers to staff these clinics.

There’s a racial gap when it comes to how women experience breast cancer. Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from the disease compared to white women. And black women who survive tend to have lower quality of life.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

At the Alaska Airlines ticket counter at Sea-Tac Airport, parents Ron and Christine Vega wait for their boarding passes.

Their son, Gibson, 5, carries a blue backpack that has essentials for a mock airplane trip: snacks, things to keep him preoccupied and a white cloth towel that helps him deal with stress.

Mobile Medical
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

About twice a month, King County’s Mobile Medical van comes to Renton. It opens at 4:30, but it’s often slow until closer to 6:30, when the church across the street begins serving hot meals for homeless people.

The inside of this RV has been retrofitted so there’s an exam room, a nurse’s station and a waiting area.  A generator gives off a droning buzz as it powers this efficient little clinic.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

One of the public health clinics slated for closure got a reprieve today as King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a partnership that would keep the White Center Public Health Clenter at Greenbridge open through the 2016 fiscal year.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Fifteen children, ages 6 months to 14 years, are being treated at Seattle Children's Hospital for a severe respiratory illness known as entero virus.

KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

People usually go to Skagit Valley for tulips and berries. But here’s a little known fact: The region also grows grains. Grains used to be grown mainly as cover crop and often shipped out of state. These days Skagit Valley is seeing a grain revival, thanks to a local researcher.

If your experience with whole grain bread takes you back to the hard brick loaves of the '70s, Stephen Jones at the Bread Lab wants to change that.

Mayor's Office

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Tuesday plans to create a cabinet level department that will focus on closing the achievement gaps in Seattle Public Schools.

“Ninety percent of white fourth graders read at grade level, compared to 56 percent of African-American students,” Murray said at a press conference. “And when you open up those numbers by gender, they actually get worse.”

Sarah Meyer (right), a midwife, was recently hired by Whidbey Island General Hospital, as part of a plan to reduce the hospital's C-section rate.
Gary Taylor/Whidbey Island General Hospital

In Coupeville, Washington, Sarah Meyer is pressing a fetal Doppler on Christine Meyer’s belly to check the baby’s heart rate.

Meyer, no relation to Christine, then checks her ankles for swelling. Christine is 25, and this is her first baby. She says she chose Whidbey General because the hospital offers what she was looking for – a midwife.

Wikimedia

In the campaign to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted infections, counselors like Chief Odood are on the frontlines.

Seattle’s medical and research community is mourning the death of dozens of HIV researchers killed in the Malaysia Air crash Thursday.  The group was en route to Australia for the International Aids Conference.  

Courtesy of Lynne Hogan

Earlier this month KUOW introduced you to Lynne Hogan, 48, one of hundreds of Washington adoptees seeking information about their birth parents. A new law that took effect July 1 gave adoptees access to their birth records through the Washington State Department of Health.

Testicular cancer is on the rise among young Latinos, according to a new study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University Of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

There’s a lot of emphasis on healthy aging, as more baby boomers hit 65. But what about those seniors who don’t ski and skydive for fun?

It’s the season of summer camps, but kids with autism or ADHD are often left out because of behavior issues. But next week, they’ll get have another option, through a joint program between UW Autism Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Courtesy of Lynne Hogan

Lynne Hogan has always wondered where she came from. She’s one of 540 adoptees who’ve requested a copy of their birth certificate under a new state law.

Flickr Photo/Michael J (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Parking mentally ill patients in the emergency room while waiting for treatment is a common practice, but  also controversial. Psychiatric boarding, as it's known, used to be the exception. But in the last six years, the number of patients who've experienced it has nearly tripled.  Now the state Supreme Court is considering whether boarding is constitutional.

If you have a dispute with a government agency, chances are, your complaint will go through a process called an administrative hearing. These hearings usually haven’t attracted public attention — until recently.

Last October, Seattle Children’s Hospital challenged the Office of Insurance Commissioner for allowing health plans to exclude providers like Children’s from their networks.

O.S.T. and L.H. – their initials in court documents – are minors diagnosed with autism. Their families sued Regence, the health insurance company, for not covering all therapies related to their condition.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It was standing room only at Seattle’s city hall on Thursday, as councilmembers made changes to a minimum wage proposal. This signals that Seattle is poised to be the first city to pass a $15 minimum wage, the highest in the country.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

You may have heard of financial literacy or media literacy. But what about health literacy: Are you able to get and understand basic health information?

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

One of the first signs of spring is when the cherry trees bloom at the University of Washington. The iconic trees on the quad have become a symbol of the University’s ties to Japan. Yesterday, the University celebrated a gift from Japan — 18 new cherry trees to add to the campus.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

David Baty remembers the first time he gave his son Spencer, 10, some peanuts.

Photo Courtesy Jenni Clark

Not all health plans are the same, as Washington consumers have learned the hard way.

Courtesy of International Community Health Services

This week the White House honored community heroes for their work in educating and signing up Asian American and Pacific Island residents for health care.

Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

State and local officials are celebrating the robust number of people who signed up for health care through Washington’s exchange over the open enrollment period.

Between last October through the end of March, more than 164,000 Washington residents bought private health plans through the state exchange. In addition, more than 423,000 people got coverage through Washington Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. 

Courtesy of Christine Lange

One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to give access to people who currently don’t have health insurance.

Supporters see another benefit — to give people who dream of quitting their day jobs for a chance to become an entrepreneur.

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