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

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  Rhode Island officials are breathing a collective sigh of relief that the plug has been pulled on the GOP health care plan to replace Obamacare. Health officials had recently briefed reporters on the potential impact of the GOP plan. Interim head of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Anya Rader Wallack called it a "grave threat." The plan would have cut millions of dollars to Medicaid, eliminated tax subsidies for people who buy health insurance plans on HealthSource RI, and could have lifted the requirement that insurers cover 10 "essential health benefits," such as free preventive care and mental health care.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Office of the Child Advocate has reviewed the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four infants and the near deaths of two others over the past six months whose families were involved with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, or DCYF. The Advocate’s report finds the agency missed opportunities to prevent those deaths.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New parents get involved in Family Court for different reasons – but usually because the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, or DCYF, believes their newborn is at risk. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials are busy analyzing the potential impacts of the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. Proposed funding cuts to Medicaid  - the health insurance program for the poor - could mean covering fewer people or reducing payments to health care providers.

National Cancer Institute

What’s happening in health in Rhode Island, March 21:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital researchers say preparing for an infectious disease outbreak could be more efficient and cost-effective. That’s the conclusion of a new study that assessed the costs and benefits for hospitals of preparing to deal with potential Ebola cases during the 2014 outbreak.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

Early recovery from addiction is a delicate, difficult period. It’s a time when drug users are most at risk of relapsing or overdosing. But scientists are learning more about the biology of early recovery and how people with substance abuse problems can survive it.

Congressional Budget Office

A report issued Monday by the Congressional Budget Office ran the numbers on the Republicans' plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, called the American Health Care Act. Among the highlights: 14 million Americans could lose coverage next year if the proposal moves forward, and nearly double that 10 years from now. The plan reduces the nation's deficit, but it does so by cutting Medicaid funding and reducing health care subsidies.

Brain Week Rhode Island

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, March 14:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Hospitals in Rhode Island must now follow new guidelines before discharging a patient who has overdosed on opioids. 

Office of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Ranking member Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and chair of the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on crime and terrorism Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, have asked the head of the FBI and the acting Attorney General to release information on the alleged wiretapping of then-candidate Donald Trump and his residence, Trump Tower.


Rhode Island has hired a new Medicaid director. The hire comes at a time when major changes could be afoot for the state’s health insurance program for the poor and disabled.


Rhode Island’s congressional representatives and others are condemning the bill unveiled by U.S. House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. U.S. Representative David Cicilline says the bill would hurt Rhode Islanders.

The Republicans’ plan does away with the requirement that individuals have health insurance, though it does allow insurers to charge more for people whose coverage lapses. It would end expanded Medicaid coverage by 2020. And it would provide people with tax credits – up to $14,000 per family – to buy health insurance.

Wikimedia Commons

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, March 7:

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin wants to list emerging synthetic opioids as controlled substances. Kilmartin says this would give law enforcement the opportunity to crack down on these addictive, dangerous drugs.