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 making music, cooking, and spending time with her husband, daughter, dogs, and cat.

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The Pulse
4:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tools For Health Care Consumers: Quality, Cost, And Care

Thousands of Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance in recent weeks, some for the first time. I'm thinking that means some might not be so familiar with our health care system, or they might not know how to keep costs down with plans that carry higher deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.

So... here are a few tools to help you navigate, from finding the highest quality, to keeping costs down, to managing your own health. It's not an exhaustive list, but a start...if you're starting from scratch!

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The Pulse
2:40 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

50 Years Of Anti-Tobacco Efforts. Can RI Quit Now?

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Can we slack off on prevention efforts now? Not if we want to prevent the estimated 1,750 tobacco-related deaths every year, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. And that doesn't take into account the number of years lives are shortened by exposure to second-hand smoke.

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Health Care
1:19 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Flu Now Officially Widespread In RI

Flu vaccine-filled syringes ready for administering.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

It was only a matter of time…

The flu is now widespread in Rhode Island.

That means there are outbreaks of the flu in more than half the state. It also kicks into effect a state requirement that health care professionals who have NOT been vaccinated wear surgical masks whenever they’re in contact with patients. The health department reports that flu-related hospitalizations are up as well.

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The Pulse
4:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Update: RIte Care, Low Income Rhode Islanders, And The ACA

Some of the lowest-income Rhode Islanders may be losing their health insurance coverage or paying a bit more for it by the end of this month.

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Politics
12:24 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Sen. Reed Urges Congress To Pass Unemployment Benefits

Legislation sponsored by Jack Reed that would extend long-term unemployment benefits passed Tuesday (1/7) in the Senate.
Credit Flo Jonic

Senator Jack Reed says he’s pleased a bill he co-sponsored to extend unemployment benefits for 90 days has moved forward in the Senate on a procedural vote. And he’d like to see it continue to move forward without having to negotiate how to pay for it. But Reed says he’s open on that point.

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Weather
4:01 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Rhode Islanders Dig Out, Warm Up

A snow plow clears streets in Cranston.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The first snowstorm of 2014 may not have delivered all the snow we expected. But it has delivered the searing cold.  

Here's how Ocean Staters are digging out and staying warm.

Paul Caminero spent the morning shoveling snow in downtown Providence. But staying outside this long, in this kind of cold? That required some preparation.

“I’ve basically thrown on everything I can,” laughed Caminero. “I’ve got on two pairs of pants, gloves, North Face jacket, hoodie.”

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Health Care
1:28 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

HealthSource RI Signs Up 9800 For Jan. 1 Coverage

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange reports that more than 9800 Rhode Islanders have signed up for health coverage with private insurance plans to date. And while you might have missed the deadline to get covered as of January 1st, enrollment remains open through March 31st.

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The Pulse
12:42 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

How To: New Year's Resolutions

There's no shortage of advice for how to make, keep, or ditch your New Year's resolutions. Here are a few for your consideration, from the scientific to the not-so-very-scientific at all.

Health Care
11:38 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Flu Spreads In Rhode Island, Hospitalizations Increase

Flu vaccine-filled syringes
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

While the flu is now widespread in Massachusetts, it’s still sporadic in Rhode Island. But 16 Rhode Islanders have already been hospitalized, and officials expect the number of cases to spike.

Health department officials say so far there have been no flu deaths, but in past years flu has killed well over a hundred people in Rhode Island. They say one of this year’s dominant strains in Rhode Island and nationally is H1N1, but that’s also one of the strains this year’s vaccine protects against. 

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New Year: 2014
10:31 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Rhode Islanders Get Ready To Ring In The New Year

Providence Skyline
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

This New Year’s Eve, Rhode Islanders will celebrate in high style and low key. 

For the theatrically minded, there’s a masquerade ball at the Rhode Island Convention Center, and a Wizard of Oz-themed bash at The Dorrance in Providence.

There’s a band at Chan’s in Woonsocket, and Improv Comedy at the Firehouse Theater in Newport.

And even a New Year’s Eve group meditation session at the Zettmar Studio in Providence.

But some, like North Providence resident Nathan Hatch, will be staying home.

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