Kristin Gourlay

Health Care Reporter

Kristin Espeland Gourlay joined Rhode Island Public Radio in July 2012. Before arriving in Providence, Gourlay covered the environment for WFPL Louisville, KY’s NPR station. And prior to that, she was a reporter and host for Wyoming Public Radio.

Gourlay earned her MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and her BA in anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.

She’s won multiple national, regional, and local awards for her reporting, and her work has aired on NPR and stations throughout the country. She’s particularly proud of the variety of protective clothing she’s had to wear on assignment, including helmets, waders, safety goggles, and snowshoes.

Originally from Chicago, IL, Gourlay loves music, cooking, and spending time with her family.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Learning To Respect A Patient's Wishes At The End Of Life

Second-year resident Dr. Mark Salmon at the bedside of patient Melissa Smith (played by actress Melissa Bowler). In this simulation, Melissa Smith is dying from advanced ovarian cancer. Smith's mother Terry (played by Terry Rochon, RN) looks to Dr. Salmon for reassurance.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Talking about dying is difficult for most people, including doctors. But can they learn a better way to help patients nearing the end of their lives? Can health care systems learn to respect those wishes? Here’s one experiment to find out.

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Dr. Kate Lally gathers a group of second year residents outside a patient’s room at Kent Hospital in Warwick. Lally explains the patient they’re about to examine is 34-year-old Melissa Smith. She has advanced ovarian cancer. Until now, she’s been in hospice care at home, keeping comfortable.

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The Pulse
5:08 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Tripling In Teen E-Cigarette Use: Reason To Worry?

At the Providence Place mall, an island displays e-cigarette wares for sale, promoting the benefits for quitting smoking.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the trend in smoking traditional cigarettes among teens is down. That's great news on many levels. But as traditional cigarette smoking has declined, the use of electronic cigarettes has tripled over the past few years.

Wondering whether to worry? Or even what the heck an e-cigarette actually is? I've been combing the latest research to help answer those questions.

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Health Care
9:58 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Testimony Begins On Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Statehouse lawmakers heard testimony on proposed medicaid cuts Thursday.
Credit RIPR FILE

State lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on several proposals to cut Medicaid spending. Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget would cut state payments to nursing homes by three percent. 

That’s on top of rates that have stayed stagnant for a while.  Woonsocket nursing home administrator Shaun Cournoyer testified before the senate finance committee those cuts would lead to layoffs. 

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The Pulse
11:46 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Medical Marijuana Program: At A Crossroads?

Credit Laurie Avocado / Creative Commons license

Several caregivers and patients participating in the state's medical marijuana program have reached out to me recently, offering to educate me about their role and the benefits of the program.

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Health Care
11:06 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Hearings Begin On Proposed Cuts To Medicaid

Lawmakers begin hearings today on proposed cuts to Medicaid, the state’s medical assistance program for the poor.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has asked a task force to recommend ways to trim $90 million dollars in state spending on Medicaid. The senate finance committee is scheduled to hear testimony about several budget proposals that would cut payments to hospitals and nursing homes.

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