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.

Karen Brown / NEPR/NENC

About a dozen miles off the coast of Cape Cod sits a rustic island named Penikese — part of the Elizabeth island chain. A hundred years ago, Penikese was home to a leper colony, then a school for troubled boys and a bird sanctuary. This past fall, Penikese opened to its newest incarnation — a treatment program for opioid addicts.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This Thanksgiving many of us are gathering with family – some of whom we haven’t seen for a while. If that includes older relatives and friends, you might notice some changes. But which changes are part of the normal aging process, and which might indicate there’s a problem? 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Sen. Josh Miller (D-Cranston) has had a front row seat during the implementation of Obamacare in Rhode Island. Now, the prospect of a Trump presidency is creating uncertainty among proponents of the law. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Nov. 15:

OPIOID ADDICTION TREATMENT FOR INMATES: -The medical director for state correctional system, Dr. Jennifer Clark, told members of the governor’s opioid overdose task force that more inmates will be getting medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Police departments in our region and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis. 

A spate of high profile police shootings have drawn attention to the way police respond to people dealing with mental illness. 

Karen Brown / NEPR/NENC

Massachusetts is one of about 40 states where someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to an extreme can be legally committed to a locked treatment facility -- along with Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Rhode Island allows legal commitment only for alcohol addiction. In most cases, a worried family member has to go to court to make that happen.

But one recent trend that has surprised even court officials is how many addicts are appealing directly to a judge — willing to give up their civil rights in exchange for some help.

Brown Medicine Magazine

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Nov. 1:

  • OPEN ENROLLMENT: Today (Nov. 1) is the beginning of open enrollment for health insurance plans sold on the state’s Obamacare exchange, HealthSource RI.
RIPR file photo

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

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Accessing mental health care can be tough for kids in Rhode Island. There’s a shortage of practitioners and programs and a growing need for care. This week on The Pulse, we explore how schools and communities are bridging some of the gaps, bringing mental health services right into the school building.

Public Doman

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

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

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

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. 

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