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.

Ways To Connect

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A group of Rhode Islanders plan to join a national day of protest Saturday morning against Planned Parenthood.  Rhode Island Right to Life and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence say they will be among those calling on lawmakers to stop public funding for the health care organization.

 The protests come after secretly filmed videos emerged last month of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the use of fetal tissue for medical research. Anti-abortion activists claim the group is using federal funding to illegally traffic body parts.

Child and Family RI

Rhode Island puts too many children in group homes. Everyone agrees that’s bad.

But dig a little deeper, and it seems Rhode Island does have some alternatives: therapists, family case managers, parenting coaches, visiting nurses. Lots of nonprofits serving children and families. So what's the disconnect? Here's a look in my reporter's notebook.

Health insurance rates in Rhode Island will go up once again for most consumers in 2016. The state’s health insurance commissioner has made a final decision about those rates for individuals and businesses.

Rates for all United Health plans are going up –large employers, will pay about four and a half percent more, and small business plans will rise just over seven percent. Individuals with a Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island policy will pay an average of $312 dollars a month, up nearly six percent.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo’s overdose prevention task force convenes its first meeting Wednesday. The group has been asked to develop a statewide plan to curb the epidemic of addiction and overdose.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

For the past week, we’ve been focusing on "Children in Crisis," our series about Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. The agency is struggling to cope with an influx of neglect and abuse cases and has run into financial trouble. Now, we explore how a national "home visiting"  program aims to keep families from entering the system in the first place.

Immunization Action Coalition

Protestors are asking the state health department to abolish the requirement that all seventh graders receive the HPV vaccine, which can prevent cervical and other kinds of cancers. Parents can request an exemption. But the groups say they’re still opposed to the mandate. The health department has added additional community meeting dates to respond to public concerns.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families is struggling with an influx of children who have been abused and neglected. Many of their cases go before Rhode Island’s Family Court, where judges play a key role in deciding when children can return to their homes. The drama of lives in upheaval unfolds every day of the week in the Garrahy Judicial complex, downtown Providence.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Lisa (we've changed her name to protect her privacy)  spent years trying to get her daughter back, after the Dept. of Children, Youth, and Families removed her. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island doesn’t have enough foster families to meet a growing need. That’s one reason the Department of Children, Youth, and Families places a higher percentage of kids in group homes than almost any other state. DCYF officials acknowledge the problem. But recruiting new foster families has been tough.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Children who experience abuse or neglect–or even the stress of poverty—can have serious health problems later in life. That’s one of many challenges for children in Rhode Island’s child welfare system. We continue our series “Children in Crisis” with this look at how some health care professionals hope to address those challenges. 

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