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

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.

Flickr/ Neal Gillis

Public health experts are now recommending that pregnant women get the vaccine for whooping cough during pregnancy. The recommendation is in response to the growing outbreak of the disease in the U.S. So far, there are more than 32,000 reported cases of whooping cough across the country.  If the trend holds, it’s on track to be the highest number of cases since 1959.   

Washington’s Health Exchange now has a formal name. It’s called “Washingtonhealthplanfinder.” The online program was designed to help people shop for individual or small group coverage. It will allow them to compare plans, and to see if they qualify for financial assistance. But it’s not live yet. The site is still under construction.  State officials hope to have the program up and running by next fall. They’re still deciding what kinds of plans will be sold.

You can follow the Exchange's progress, and learn more about it. 

Line at McDonald's
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

It’s been more than two years since King County required chain restaurants to post nutrition information on their menus.  The goal was to help customers make healthy choices. 

Seattle researchers wanted to see if the regulation has changed the way restaurants market their meals.  One change the study found is it seems restaurants are no longer promoting supersized portions or overeating. 

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