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

Fried Dough / Flickr

Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, according to a study published online today in the journal Health Affairs. There are plenty of anecdotes of people who have used up their savings, borrowed from friends or filed for bankruptcy following a serious illness like cancer. Now researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have documented exactly how great the risk of bankruptcy is for cancer patients.

The State Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that could decide whether faith-based employers in Washington have some exemption from the state’s anti-discrimination law.

NCI-Frederick Photo

Scientists at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found a class of cells they think suppresses herpes. This could explain why some people have no symptoms or lesions when the virus is reactivated. It also changes the way scientists understand how the virus works.

Minnesota Historical Society / Flickr

The City of Seattle is about to embark on a new study that hasn’t been done in other American cities—to look at gun violence from a public health standpoint.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Every four weeks, Anna Stephens comes to Seattle Children’s Hospital for chemotherapy. But she’s not a child. Stephens is 23 years old, and she’s one of thousands of young people with cancer who wind up being treated in facilities that typically deal with much younger or much older patients.

Courtesy/Seattle Children's Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital is opening a new cancer unit Sunday specifically designed for teens and young adults. 

When young cancer patient age 15 to 29 goes in for treatment, they end up either in a pediatric or adult facility. A designated place for this age group could play a crucial role in their survival, according to Dr. Becky Johnson.

johnmuk / Flickr

A task force will meet Thursday to review the health and living conditions of three elephants at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. The panel was created after a citizen petition last year called for an investigation into the living conditions and treatment of elephants.

Denise Sharify / Neighborhood House

Physical activity is good for the body and mind, though finding time to exercise can be a challenge. But for some people, time is not the only issue. Many Muslim women find that cultural constraints limit their options. A group of immigrant women in Seattle found a way to overcome that challenge.

Marler Clark

Salmonella. E.coli. Listeria. Every year about 48 million Americans get sick from eating contaminated food. Some people become seriously ill and need to be hospitalized. More than 3 million of those illnesses are from tainted produce.

Courtesy the Chrobuck family

The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed the most sweeping changes to food safety rules in 70 years. Now it wants to hear from the public.

Desk school education
Flickr Photo/alamosbasement (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Fewer teens are smoking and drinking alcohol. That’s one of the bright spots from a recent survey of youth in Washington state. But the results also show that a large number of them are struggling with mental health issues.

Jean Raichle

One of the hardest things for families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease is loss -- loss of memory, loss of a loved one's ability to recognize family, and sometimes, loss of the ability to communicate. The changes can be devastating. But one Seattle woman found a way to be part of her mother’s new world.

Seattle police have released information on the fatal shooting Tuesday evening of a 21-year-old man in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

Flickr Photo/ghindo

Business groups who opposed Seattle’s paid sick leave law are hoping for a do-over in Olympia. Today the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee will hear two bills to repeal the controversial ordinance.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It’s estimated that there are more than five million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to grow as the population ages. One of the major problems associated with the disease is isolation, both for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. A Seattle program provides them a place to socialize and find support.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Recent shooting tragedies around the country have raised questions about our mental health system. One of those questions is: Where do you go when someone in your family has mental illness? This is a story of one Seattle family’s journey for help and the lessons learned along the way.

Doctor
Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos (CC-BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/bt29wL

A preliminary report from the Washington State Hospital Association shows that emergency room  visits by frequent users fell by 23 percent between June and October of last year.

Harborview Hospital, Seattle, 2002
Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1Ky8e6j

King County is facing a major problem. It doesn’t have enough beds for mentally ill people going through the court system. The county has nowhere to send them, and some are being released without treatment.

Jay Inslee
Candidate's Facebook page

Democrat Jay Inslee made his first public appearance since he won the election. The Governor-Elect spoke Wednesday at a health care policy conference in SeaTac. He reiterated his commitment to change health care in Washington state through the Affordable Care Act.

Washington State Capitol
Flickr Photo/Alan Cordova (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Little information is available yet to conclude whether the shooter in Newtown, Conn., was diagnosed with, or treated for, mental illness. But last week’s incident has raised questions around the country about mental health and funding for treatment and services. 

It's official: Washington has reached a milestone in creating its own health exchange. On Monday the US Department of Health and Human Services announced Washington is among six states to make significant progress in developing an online market for health plans.

Ruby de Luna

Most science exhibits focus on animals, robots or body parts. But a new exhibit at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center focuses on wellness. The goal is to help kids understand how the choices they make affect their overall health.


Flickr/Nule y Nelson

Marriage certificates in Washington state will look a little different next month. Terms like bride and groom will be out. The Department of Health wants to use something more gender-neutral, now that same–sex marriage is legal. The agency is taking suggestions at a public hearing on Wednesday.

Yuya Tamai / Flickr

Here’s another reason why it’s tough being a janitor: In a recent survey, people who clean work places are more prone to the flu. 

Next fall Washington’s health exchange is expected to be up and running.  The exchange is an online market for health plans, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act.  Right now the state's Health Exchange Board is trying to figure out how to pay for itself. 

Suzan DelBene talking to supporters at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Democrat Suzan DelBene beat Republican John Koster in the congressional race for the newly drawn 1st District. Election returns show DelBene ahead in three of the four counties.  

pnwcheese.com

A federal court judge has barred local cheese maker Estrella Creamery of Montesano in Grays Harbor County from selling its products outside of Washington.

No-smoking sign.
Mikl Roventine / Flickr

Tacoma’s public housing is becoming completely smoke-free.  Right now residents can’t smoke in common areas.  But beginning March 1, 2013 residents won’t be allowed to smoke in their apartments.  The ban also includes outdoor areas like patios and balconies. 

Low-income parents will soon have a way to get treatment for their children with autism. Starting in January, Washington state will cover applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for kids with Medicaid coverage. The new benefit is part of a legal settlement between the state and a local advocacy group for children with autism. 

Images via TVW

Whoever is elected as governor this fall could change the course of Washington state's Medicaid program. When the US Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act in June, it determined that the law went too far when it required states to expand Medicaid. The ruling left it up to states to decide whether or not to open up the program to cover people without insurance.

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