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

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.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The first wave of memorial services honoring the victims who perished in the Oso landslide took place this weekend.

In Darrington, residents gathered to remember Linda McPherson, a longtime resident and librarian. After the service, the community gathered for a meal together. It's a special tradition that goes back many decades in this small community.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

For many families of victims of the deadly Oso landslide, getting information about the fate of their loved ones has been agonizingly slow.

That's because the work by medical examiners to confirm the identities of the deceased is painstaking and requires time.

Flickr Photo/GovInslee (National Guard) (CC-BY-NC-ND)

With 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast for Friday, Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots held a brief conference in the morning to update on the progress of the Oso mudslide.

Hots said the rain makes the efforts of the workers in the debris field, now in their seventh day of search operations, slow and complicated. “We’ve got a hard day ahead of us,” Hots said.

Courtesy of TB Voices Project

Some people may think tuberculosis has been wiped out, but the disease still infects one third of the world’s population.

Closer to home, tuberculosis is on the rise in Washington state, after years of decline. There were 209 tuberculosis cases reported last year.  

These days the disease is treated with oral medication.

But there was time, not too long ago, when TB patients were quarantined in sanatoriums, sometimes for years.   

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

A year after hospitals began discouraging Medicaid patients from making unnecessary emergency room visits, the results are promising. A new state report shows the number of unnecessary visits to ERs in Washington fell by 10 percent last year.  

“A 10 percent reduction is almost unprecedented,” said Dr. Nathan Schlicher, an ER physician at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma.

Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

If you don’t have health coverage yet, you still have two weeks to sign up. But state officials are urging people not to wait until the last minute. They say there are reasons to enroll sooner — you’ll avoid the surge leading up to the deadline.

Flickr Photo/Still Burning (CC BY-NC-ND)

Health care enrollments so far have been focused on people without insurance. But there’s another population officials are trying to get covered – people locked up behind bars.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Scientists are hoping to learn more about a fossilized mammoth tusk that was uncovered two weeks ago at a construction site in Seattle’s South Lake Union area. The tusk has since been transferred to the Burke Museum for preservation and research.

Courtesy Greenwood Senior Center

Living with dementia can be isolating for both patients and their families. As social interactions get awkward, people begin to withdraw. Not only do their memories fade, but people themselves begin to fade from view.

At least that's the common perception.

Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder has rolled out a new series of snappy ads aimed at getting young adults to sign up for health care. To date, the enrollment participation for this group is still just above 20 percent.

Flickr Photo/Ralf (CC BY-NC-SA)

The Washington State Hospital Association has filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court over the state's new permitting process for hospitals.

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