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

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.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Dr. James Prochaska heads the Cancer Prevention Research Center at the University of Rhode island. Decades ago, while researching how people quit smoking, Prochaska began paying attention to the stages of behavior change.

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Rhode Island’s Department of Health has received confirmation of the first case of West Nile virus in the state this year. The mosquito-borne illness is rare but can be dangerous for some patients.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

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

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Kristin Gourlay

U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha will hold a series of town hall meetings about the growing public health crisis of opioid addiction and overdose. The programs kick of today as part of National Heroin and Opioid Awareness week. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials estimate nearly 20,000 Rhode Islanders are addicted to opioids – whether prescription painkillers or heroin. But only a few thousand are receiving something called “medication assisted treatment.” 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A series of hearings about the state of mental health care kicks off Thursday at the Statehouse. Lawmakers are concerned about gaps in the system.

Cranston Senator Josh Miller says he hopes to hold at least four hearings about mental health services in Rhode Island.

“And we hope to hear from providers and patients about the needs that aren’t being met, where those needs are, and what we can do either legislatively or departmentally to better meet some of those needs.”

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

For Rhode Islanders seeking state assistance like health insurance or food stamps, there’s a new system in place. We visited the Department of Human Services’ field office in Providence on the first day of the new system to see how it’s working.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

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

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

As of Tuesday there’s a new way of applying for state benefits like Medicaid and food stamps, or SNAP. It's an online application for all Department of Human Services benefits, all in one place - Rhode Island's biggest information technology project ever. But some advocates for the poor fear there won’t be enough support to help clients make the transition.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The acting head of the Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families is leaving her post. She’s the third Health and Human Services agency leader to step down in less than a few months.

Kathleen Gorman

Hundreds of thousands of Rhode  Islanders receive state assistance like food stamps and Medicaid. The agency that helps connect them with those benefits - the Department of Human Services - is in the midst of a major reorganization. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

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

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