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
3:47 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Reducing Overtreatment, Overtesting, And Overdiagnosis

Dr. Michael Fine, director of Rhode Island's Department of Health
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

I had a chance to speak to Department of Health director Dr. Michael Fine this morning as he traveled to a conference in Boston. The gathering, put on by the Lown Institute, is "From Avoidable Care to Right Care," convenes "...clinicians, patient advocates, and civic leaders to deepen our mutual understanding of the cultural, scientific, and ethical issues surrounding the overuse of medical services." (Dr.

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The Pulse
2:34 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

AIDS In RI: Who's At Risk?

It's World AIDS Day, and in Rhode Island several events are taking place to mark it, including an event earlier at the statehouse with the Rhode Island Coalition for HIV Prevention and announcements about new prevention initiatives by the Rhode Island Dept. of Health (more on those later).

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Local Nonprofit Fighting Malnutrition In Philippines

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Employees at a Rhode Island company are working through the holiday to bring much-needed relief to the Philippines. Edesia manufactures food supplements and a peanut butter paste called Plumpy Nut that reverses the effects of malnutrition. Founder Navyn Salem says the disaster in the Philippines has put many children at risk of malnutrition, and many are starving. So they’ll be working almost around the clock to prepare shipments.

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The Pulse
2:59 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

More Promising Brain Studies In Rhode Island

I reported recently on the growth of brain science in Rhode Island, mentioning some of the many scientists, doctors, and institutes involved and some of the diseases they're hoping to tackle.

But of course, as with any story, I learned much more in the course of my reporting than I was able to include. Here are a few more neuroscience highlights in the Ocean State:

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Health Care
12:42 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Sen. Whitehouse To Focus On Health Reform Success In RI

Credit Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will hold a roundtable discussion Monday on how the Affordable Care Act is benefiting the state. He hopes to call attention to efforts to reduce costs and improve quality.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Rhode Island: A Destination For Brain Science?

BrainGate hardware and software at work
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This month, the University of Rhode Island launched a new neuroscience research institute, where researchers will focus on fighting Alzheimer’s and other diseases. It’s the fourth such program to hang out a shingle in the state. This growing community could eventually help more Rhode Islanders battle some of the most debilitating diseases.

(Neurons firing)

This is what it sounds like when you think about opening and closing your hand.

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Health Care
5:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

United's Medicare Move: More Limited Choice Ahead?

United Healthcare is dropping hundreds of doctors in Rhode Island

RIPR health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joined host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about what United Healthcare's recent decision to drop several hundred doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan means for the 36,0000 or so Rhode Islanders in that plan. Following is a transcript of their conversation, and a link to listen.

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Health Care
4:28 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Researchers Find Brain Changes In Babies At Risk For Alzheimer's

Brown University researchers say they are close to determining whether or not a person will be at risk for Alzheimer's as early as infancy.
Credit RIPR FILE

Scientists have come a step closer to understanding when the signs of Alzheimer’s begin. Brown University researchers and their colleagues have found some of the earliest evidence yet.

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Health Care
1:12 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Deadline To Sign Up For Health Insurance Extended

The Obama administration has extended the deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage that takes effect January first by one week. Rhode Islanders now have until December 23rd to enroll in a plan on HealthSource RI.

Individuals and small businesses have another week to sign up for health insurance coverage that begins January 1st. The new deadline is December 23rd, instead of December 15, to accommodate consumers who may have had trouble signing up online and to ease the possible rush of sign-ups at the last minute.

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The Pulse
1:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Highest ADHD Rate In New England? Rhode Island.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is highlighting new data (published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) about reported ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) rates among kids aged 4 - 17.

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