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

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy is in town speaking with the addiction and mental health community. 

Kennedy has been advocating for better and more accessible treatment for addiction and mental illness for years. In 2013 he launched the Kennedy Forum to help focus those efforts.

RI Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force

Can Rhode Island cut opioid deaths by a third in three years? That’s the goal of the state’s new strategic plan on addiction and overdose.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s  two largest health care systems have resumed talks about a possible affiliation. It’s not the first time Lifespan and Care New England have hinted at a future relationship, but most of the details remain under wraps.  For this week’s The Pulse, I explore the ups and downs of a potential partnership for the hospitals and for patients with news director Elisabeth Harrison. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Community Health Centers have gotten a couple of funding boosts this week. The funds are intended to expand access to primary care and dental care.

Thundermist Health Center in Woonsocket will receive $1 million dollar federal grant to add exam rooms and hire more primary care doctors. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s largest provider of hospice care will merge with an Eastern Massachusetts hospice provider. The deal involves Home Care and Hospice of New England, which plans to join Hope Health. 

Home Care and Hospice of New England says in a statement the merger will create the largest nonprofit hospice provider in New England. The parent organization will adopt the Hope Health brand name and operate three nonprofit subsidiaries, two in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts. That includes a visiting nurse service. 

They expect to finalize the transaction early next year.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / video screen shot

On Tuesday night, I joined a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-sponsored panel of cancer doctors, researchers, and a pharmaceutical industry representative in Pittsburgh to talk specialty drug costs. I shared some of what I've learned reporting on the high cost - and huge benefits - of new hepatitis C treatments. But I learned much more about what drives the high cost of pharmaceuticals, and what health care providers, insurers, government, patients, and drug companies can do to rein in those costs.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A foster home for teenagers is under investigation by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families after an employee was arrested for assaulting a resident. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force holds its next public meeting Wednesday morning to present the beginnings of a plan to combat overdose deaths.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo launched the Working Group for Healthcare Innovation earlier this summer to help find a way to lower overall health care spending in Rhode Island. The group’s next public listening session takes place Tuesday.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This week, new details have emerged about financial mismanagement at the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. A second audit has revealed the former director of the child welfare agency may have violated state ethics rules by getting paid to be a consultant for a vendor DCYF was overseeing.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

It's not just financial irregularities plaguing the child welfare agency. There are lists of reforms officials must tackle - including 20 specific recommendations from a group of lawmakers.

When the state’s child welfare agency told the General Assembly it would need another cash infusion to make it through the end of the year, a group of lawmakers decided to dig in to the root cause of the agency’s financial problems.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Another audit has uncovered more irregularities in accounting practices at the state Department of Children, Youth and Families.

John Bender / RIPR

Lawmakers continue their oversight of the state’s troubled child welfare agency with a quarterly hearing tomorrow.  

The joint Senate Health and Human Services Committee and Senate Finance Committee has been monitoring the progress of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families since 2014. That’s when budget overruns prompted more scrutiny of the agency, and several reports found the problems ran deeper than money. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The State-run Eleanor Slater Hospital will be overseen by a team of health care management consultants while state officials work to fix numerous problems. A recent report cited numerous patient safety concerns and financial problems at the facility.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

When you walk into a doctor’s office for the first time, you might be asked to fill out a slew of forms. Many include a box to check for your gender: male or female. But what if that’s not an easy—or a comfortable—question to answer? That’s just one example of what keeps many transgender patients from getting the medical care they need.