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

Adam Levine/Brown University / Watson Institute

Humanitarian crises are multiplying around the globe, but a Brown University researcher says we could be responding in a more rigorous way. Emergency medicine doctor Adam Levine will head the new Humanitarian Innovation Initiative at Brown’s Watson Institute. He says academic researchers need to partner with humanitarian aid providers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new sobering center opens next month at a homeless shelter in Providence. It’s a place where inebriated people who would typically be brought to the emergency room can safely sober up. It's meant to save money and guide those patients toward recovery.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Department of Human Services officials say they’re working with federal agencies to address concerns about the rocky roll out of a new computer system called UHIP. The system enrolls Rhode Islanders in programs like food stamps and Medicaid and replaces decades-old technology. But some Federal officials said it wasn’t ready to go live when it did.                         

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

South County Hospital may be the first in Rhode Island to bring back laughing gas for women in labor. It hasn’t been used in the U.S. for decades. We delve into what happened to nitrous oxide, and why it’s making a comeback.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials have yet to comment on warnings from a federal agency that said Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services computer system wasn’t ready for prime time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted problems with the new system.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island:

Rhode Island Department of Health

Blackstone Valley’s Community Health Center broke ground Saturday on a new Neighborhood Health Station in Central Falls. The station is meant to serve patients as more than a health clinic.

Former Health Department Director Dr. Michael Fine is one of the driving forces behind the new Neighborhood Health Station. He says it’s a different model from a community health center.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State officials are responding to problems with the state’s brand new health and human services computer system. The multi-million dollar system has experienced technical problems that are affecting services and causing long wait times at field offices.

Wikimedia Commons

A new study finds mixed health results from CVS pharmacies’ decision to stop selling tobacco products. 

Harvard Professor Reginald Tucker-Seeley, Ph.D,  says when it’s easier to get tobacco in your neighborhood, more people smoke. So when CVS pharmacies stopped selling cigarettes, Tucker-Seeley wondered whether that might be good for all Rhode Islanders. He found that in neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and a greater percentage of black and Latino residents, there just weren’t as many CVS pharmacies. But there were plenty of other tobacco retailers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The search is underway for a new director of the state’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. For this week’s The Pulse, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay sits down with outgoing director Jamia McDonald to learn what’s changed for children and staff since she took the reins a year and a half ago

Brown University

Researchers from Brown University have found that even low levels of lead in children’s blood can lower future test scores. It’s one of the first studies to isolate lead as a cause, and not just a factor, in student achievement.

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

Here’s what’s happening in health care in Rhode Island:

National Cancer Institute

The presidential candidates debated for the first time Monday night, and health care barely got a mention. Health care hasn’t exactly been in the spotlight throughout this presidential campaign. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The public will have a chance to weigh in on the search for a new director for Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families. 

DCYF’s interim director Jamia McDonald will be stepping down for a job in the private sector.  She’s been working to turnaround an agency that faces criticism for a high number of children in group homes and other problems. Now, The Executive Office of Health and Human Services will hold a couple of listening sessions in to hear public feedback on who should replace McDonald.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health care in Rhode Island.

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