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 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.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 6: Veterans Harder Hit By Hep C

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. At a hearing Wednesday, Dec. 3, Sanders wanted to know why new hepatitis C drugs cost so much and how the VA was going to pay for them.
Credit Screenshot of live stream of hearing

In our ongoing series about hepatitis C, we look now at one of the hardest hit populations: veterans. Hep C is three times more prevalent among vets than in the general population. The Veterans Health Administration has the country’s largest hepatitis C screening and treatment program in the country. But that program is struggling to pay for new treatments – and the rising number of veterans who need them.

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Health Care
5:45 am
Fri December 5, 2014

For Pregnant Workers, Two RI Cities Offer Clearer Rules

A pregnancy discrimination case before the US Supreme Court now hinges on legal language that’s open to interpretation. But two Rhode Island cities have written their own rules about pregnant workers.

Central Falls and Providence both passed city-wide ordinances earlier this year to protect pregnant workers from on-the-job discrimination. Women’s Fund of Rhode Island spokeswoman Shandi Hanna said employers in those cities must now give pregnant workers reasonable accommodations, like extra bathroom breaks or lighter duties. And that’s a trend she’d like to see continue.

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The Pulse
2:46 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Addicts Convicted On Drug Crimes Face Barriers After Release

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says he hopes legislation to boost funding to treat addiction will move forward this week. Whitehouse and colleagues from both sides of the aisle hosted addiction experts on Capitol Hill this morning to learn more about the challenges that remain for addicts even in recovery.

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Health Care
9:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Rhode Island Marks World AIDS Day

Dr. Amy Nunn and Gov. Lincoln Chafee push for more testing at the World AIDS Day event in the Statehouse.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island is marking World AIDS Day, Monday with an event at the Statehouse.  The goal is to raise awareness about progress made, and progress still needed.

Eighty-seven new cases of HIV have been reported this year. That’s up from the 74 cases reported in 2013, and 87 too many say doctors and activists.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Data: Mental Health Professional Helps Police Handle Crisis Calls

The Warwick Police department will be embedding a mental health professional on its force. The idea is to replicate a program in Providence, and there’s new data about how that program is working.

The Warwick program will be similar to the one in Providence, where a mental health team member rides along with cops to reach out to people in crisis and make an evaluation on the scene when needed. The so-called “community diversion clinician” tries to help people avoid jail when mental health treatment could be the better option.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed November 26, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 5: The Uncomfortable Math Of Hep C Treatment

What’s the price of a human life? Many of us would say each life is priceless. But health economists sometimes have a number in mind.

Want to know what that number is?

In this part of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and The Fight To Stop It,” we'll tell you that - and more. We go beyond the high price of new hepatitis C drugs  to ask: how much is too much? And what the heck is a "quality adjusted life year" anyway?

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The Pulse
3:30 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

At The Crossroads: Hepatitis C Resources In RI

For the past several weeks we've been airing stories from our series, "At the Crossroads: The rise of hepatitis C and the fight to stop it." Maybe you've been wondering, hey, should I get tested? Where can I do that? And what's it like?

Wonder no more. Here's a collection of resources to get you started.

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Health Care
4:52 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Kids Count Says RIte Care Works, But Improvements Needed

Rhode Island Kids Count found kids enrolled in the health insurance program for low-income children and families have better access to preventative health care. The new study on RIte Care comes on the program’s 20th anniversary.

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The Pulse
11:39 am
Fri November 21, 2014

At The Crossroads: How Will Medicare Grapple With Hep C?

My recent story about the high cost of new hepatitis C treatments focused on the difficulty of deciding who gets these new drugs now and who has to wait. That's because, while new drugs like Sovaldi and Harvoni (both made by Gilead) promise to cure a lot of people, they're so expensive we simply couldn't afford to treat everyone who's infected right now.

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The Pulse
11:14 am
Thu November 20, 2014

HealthSource RI Rhetoric Heats Up

HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson has penned an op-ed in the Providence Journal to plead her case for keeping the health insurance exchange in local hands. Her commentary comes days after a Projo editorial arguing the state should scrap its exchange.

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