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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Health Care
3:07 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

To Curb Abuse, Lifespan ERs Adopt Rx Painkiller Guidelines

Rhode Island Hospital and the entire Lifespan network have announced new guidelines for prescribing painkillers in their emergency rooms. ER doctors are trying to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction.

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Health Care
5:00 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

To Flu Shot, Or Not To Flu Shot?

Flu Vaccine
Credit Vaccine News Daily

It’s flu season already and that means you’ll be reminded to get a flu vaccine at seemingly every turn.

Should you listen? Is this year any different?

Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay sat down with the head of Rhode Island’s health department, Dr. Michael Fine, for some answers.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

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The Pulse
3:35 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Countdown To Obamacare Deadlines: Are You Covered?

If you have health insurance through your employer, great. And in Rhode Island, that's the vast majority. But if you don't, or if your insurance is being canceled, now's the time to make a decision about what you're going to do. Here are some reminders and a few helpful tips about deadlines and what's available.

Individuals and families

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The Pulse
3:54 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Top 10 Developments In Mental Health Since Newtown

It's been a year since the tragedy in Newtown, CT took so many lives, including that of the gunman, who some believe was battling serious mental illness but may not have gotten all the treatment he needed.

We’ve heard lots, since then, about the need for more mental health resources, and lots about the rollercoaster ride of federal and state funding for those resources. Here’s a round up of some of the year’s most significant developments for mental health patients and advocates:

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Health Care
2:21 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

New HealthSource RI Data: Older Enrollees, Fewer Than Expected

Through November, 2,649 people have enrolled in commercial health insurance plans on HealthSource RI.
Credit file / RIPR

A bit more than 2600 Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance coverage through HealthSource RI. That's a fraction of everyone who’s eligible-- 2%, to be exact, of the estimated 125,000 uninsured Rhode Islanders who could sign up for coverage on Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Deadline To Enroll On HealthSource RI Approaches

Operators working for HealthSource RI
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Islanders have just 12 days left to enroll in health insurance coverage through the state’s online marketplace, HealthSource RI, if they want to be covered as of January 1st. HealthSource RI  officials say most applicants should find the process problem-free.

You’ve probably heard about the technical problems that have plagued the federal health insurance exchange – healthcare.gov. But not so in Rhode Island, says HealthSource RI spokeswoman Dara Chadwick.

“And because we are our own entity, we’re not seeing the same problems that the federal exchanges are seeing.”

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The Pulse
1:06 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

CT Docs Vs. United Healthcare: Will RI Docs Follow Suit?

Connecticut doctors sued United Healthcare for dropping them from their Medicare Advantage network. Will Rhode Island follow suit?

Probably not, says Steven DeToy with the Rhode Island Medical Society. He told me he thinks it's unlikely the doctors will have any luck in court because United had the right to drop doctors - it's in their contract. And if they did, it could get expensive and messy: doctors could be responsible for half the cost of mediation if it comes to that.

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Health Care
4:59 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

RIte Care Parents Get More Time, Help Enrolling In New Health Plans

Under new, tighter eligibility rules, thousands of parents of children with RIte Care health insurance are slated to lose their coverage at the end of this month. But they’re getting an extra month to pick a new plan.

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Health Care
3:37 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Federal Judge in CT Blocks United From Dropping Docs

A federal judge in Connecticut is blocking United Healthcare’s move to drop hundreds of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Fairfield and Hartford County Medical Associations convinced the court that removing the more than 2-thousand doctors in Connecticut from the health insurance network would be too damaging. And that the insurer plans to appeal the decision.

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The Pulse
3:01 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Food Service Work: What About Equal Pay And Health Care?

Yesterday, fast food restaurant workers and their supporters went on strike around the country, including here in Rhode Island. Their demand: $15 an hour instead of the minimum wage (which will be $8 in January here in RI).

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