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

Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling / RIPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly a third of Americans are pre-diabetic. Many more are already diabetic. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency is proposing lowering its threshold for childhood lead poisoning to match recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

International Overdose Awareness Day / Pennington Institute (Australia)

International Overdose Awareness Day is being observed around the globe Wednesday. New Englanders are marking the occasion with several events.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island, including opposition to a proposed power plant, an Alzheimers study, fewer deer ticks, and remembering overdose victims.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning states about an uptick in the availability of counterfeit painkillers. These drugs are contributing to the ongoing opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.

The pills are labeled as OxyCodone or Xanax, for example, but could contain varying amounts of a much stronger opioid painkiller called fentanyl. These are illicit drugs, sold outside of pharmacies. 

RIPR file photo

A Brown University student accused of sexual assault and suspended for two years will be allowed to return to school this fall. The student is awaiting a decision on a lawsuit he brought against the university.

A federal judge ruled the student could enroll for classes this fall pending the outcome of his case.

Brown found the student – known as “John Doe” - was responsible for sexually assaulting a female student and suspended him in April. Doe says it was consensual, and he sued the university.

Doe must have no contact with his accuser, according to the judge.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Vaccination rates for Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, are up among teen boys and girls across the U.S., and particularly in Rhode Island. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 2014 to 2015, HPV vaccination rates among teen boys climbed several percentage points, with about half of all teen boys receiving the vaccine. For girls, who started with higher vaccination rates, the increase was smaller. Roughly 62 percent of teenage girls received the vaccine.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

70 employees at the state Department of Human Services have received layoff notices because of a system-wide reorganization. It's part of a shift to online applications for benefits like food stamps.

Aaron Read / RIPR


Graphic: Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling

The rate of diabetes among Latinos in Rhode Island has shot up faster than any other group. Why the disparity in health between this group and others? It's a tangle of problems scientists don’t entirely understand.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island. (Note: Your Weekly Briefing will be on vacation next week.)

The head of Rhode Island’s Medicaid program is stepping down from her post. That will be the second vacancy at a top state health position.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The Rhode Island Medical Society and state health officials are partnering with the American Medical Association on a new effort to train doctors who prescribe addictive opioid medications. The groups will develop a toolbox full of resources for prescribers.

Dr. Patrice Harris, chair of the board of the American Medical Association, says doctors and nurses want to curb the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose.  But they often lack the resources and knowledge to act.

Graphic: Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling

Diabetes rates are soaring across the nation. But in Rhode Island, the Hispanic population has seen the most dramatic increase of any other group over the past few years.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

For the first time, Rhode Island has one of the most complete pictures of the extent of the hepatitis C epidemic. More people are infected, and more are dying from the viral disease than previously known, finds a new study. But  more people are also getting treated – and cured.

Pages