The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

The Pulse: Scurvy Cropping Up In New England

Aug 4, 2016
Elisabeth Harrison

Poverty often leads to a poor diet, and poor diets can lead to a host of health problems. Doctors in Springfield, Massachusetts, think they've identified a diet-related condition that many thought disappeared hundreds of years ago.

Diabetes is on the rise across the country, but in Rhode Island, Latinos appear to face a greater risk.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins News Director Elisabeth Harrison to talk about her upcoming series on diabetes in Rhode Island's Latino community.

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

Karen Brown / NENC

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that up to 30 percent of former service members, from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan, have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Staff photo / RIPR

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse co-authored a major package of addiction legislation that just passed the House and Senate. It’s called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA. And it addresses a range of issues, from preventing addiction among student athletes to helping veterans avoid incarceration. But many of the measures it authorizes have yet to be funded.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Nutrition advice seems to change from one moment to the next – don’t eat fat, eat fat, don’t eat carbs, eat carbs. A new exhibit at Johnson and Wales University’s Culinary Museum takes us back to a time when those messages were just beginning to enter the modern world.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Your weekly briefing about what's happening in health care: opioid legislation, depression treatment, special needs, and child welfare.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This September, Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services launches a new online portal for health and social service benefits. It’s the state’s biggest IT project ever. 

Evelyn Simak / Creative Commons

The question of a patient’s privacy came up during this legislative session. Should the family members of a patient who has overdosed be notified about that patient’s hospital stay? It came up again after the shooting in Orlando: can doctors communicate with family or friends about a patient’s status if that patient is still unconscious? 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A recent report from Massachusetts shows the number of cases of elderly abuse is on the rise. Experts attribute that to the state’s opioid addiction crisis, which leads some addicts to take financial advantage of or abuse older family members.

For this week’s The Pulse, we speak with Division of Elderly Affairs Director Charles Fogarty to learn how Rhode Island could be facing a similar problem.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Medical students have been learning anatomy – by dissecting cadavers – in much the same way for hundreds years. But the method is time consuming. 

Christine Montross

Christine Montross, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, is, in addition to that long title, an author. She wrote Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab (Penguin Books, 2007) as a way to understand her own experience as a medical student going through anatomy lab.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Postpartum depression can be debilitating for moms and devastating for babies. It can rob them both of the ability to connect at a time when that’s crucial. Some data show that Hispanic women are at higher risk for postpartum depression. On this week’s The Pulse, we hear from a unique program in Providence where more Latina moms are seeking help.

First signs of postpartum depression
This is how Aliez Roman was feeling after the birth of her second child: “I couldn’t sleep at night. A lot of racing thoughts.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

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

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: