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

Erica Smith / Flickr

Johnson and Wales University has graduated Rhode Island’s first home grown class of physicians assistants. 

A physician’s assistant is like a cross between a doctor and a nurse. He or she can do much of what a doctor can do and prescribe medication. But a PA works under the supervision of a doctor and trains for just two years after college.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s child welfare system has been struggling to keep kids out of group homes, find enough foster families, and even deal with a legacy of financial irregularities. Earlier this year, Governor Gina Raimondo called for an overhaul of the agency. And for this week’s The Pulse, we check in with the person Raimondo put in charge of that overhaul: Jamia McDonald to find out what progress has been made.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The plan, developed by a task force of experts, calls for decreasing the number of overdose deaths by a third in a couple of years. It's broken into four parts: prevention, rescue, treatment, and recovery. Some of it will require legislation, some will require the participation of multiple stakeholders.

Aaron Read / RIPR

State lawmakers will consider a suite of bills Tuesday aimed at fighting opioid addiction and overdose. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Evidence is mounting that Prince may have died of a drug overdose. While the medical examiner hasn’t given definitive proof of that, drug overdose in middle age is actually more common than some of us might think. Here's why this group is at high risk.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The national crisis of opioid addiction has led many doctors and patients to look for alternatives for managing pain. 

Gilead Sciences

Rhode Island Medicaid is revisiting its policy for determining who receives pricey hepatitis C drugs. Current policy limits who gets treated and when, but those restrictions could be loosened.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Care New England, the parent organization of Women and Infants, Memorial, Butler, and Kent Hospitals, as well as The Providence Center, has announced it’s pursuing a formal alliance with Southcoast Health. The two health systems face several hurdles before their partnership can be official.

The boards of both organizations approved the proposed affiliation today  after announcing its possibility last November. What happens next is a regulatory review process in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where Southcoast has a chain of community hospitals.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) convenes federal and state public health experts today to talk about Rhode Island’s Zika prevention plan. One of the goals is to prepare as mosquito season approaches.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A nonprofit that makes nutritional supplements for malnourished children is expanding operations in Rhode Island. Edesia has cut the ribbon on a new 83,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Quonset Business Park.

Edesia makes packets of what’s called ready-to-use food - essentially a heavily fortified peanut butter meant to treat severe malnutrition in children.

The company says packets were distributed to nearly a million children in 2015, most recently to Syrian refugees and victims of the Ethiopian drought.

photo by Megan Hall

Consolidation is the name of the health care game right now – but is it good for patients?

Let's review what's in the works in our state right now:

Memorial Hospital

A nurses’ union has sued Memorial Hospital’s parent company, Care New England, to try to maintain obstetrics and other services at the Pawtucket-based community hospital. They're asking regulators to look for more alternatives to maintaining the hospital as it is.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Hillary Clinton claimed primary victories in Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, but on the Democratic side at least, Rhode Island went its own way. Nearly 55 percent of voters in the Democratic primary chose Sanders, compared with 43 percent for Clinton. Sanders' margin of victory was larger than expected.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Hillary Clinton was in Central Falls Saturday to campaign in advance of Tuesday’s primary election. 

Rhode Island’s Democractic leadership turned out in force to welcome Clinton, including the state’s congressional delegation and Gov. Gina Raimondo.

Welcome to Central Falls sign
RIPR file

A new healthcare effort in Central Falls is getting a boost. A program called the Neighborhood Health Station has won a grant to pay for outreach workers to prevent overdose deaths and reduce emergency room use.

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