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
4:20 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Hittner Nominated as Next Health Insurance Commissioner

Kathleen Hittner, MD
Credit Rhode Island Foundation

Governor Lincoln Chafee has nominated Dr. Kathleen Hittner as Rhode Island’s next Health Insurance Commissioner. Hittner must be confirmed by the senate.

Hittner has been tapped to replace outgoing commissioner Chris Koller, who is stepping down to become president of the Milbank Memorial Fund in New York City.

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The Pulse
4:22 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Is Obesity a Disease?

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

UPDATE: The AMA voted yes on calling obesity a disease, despite a committee's recommendations against it.

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Health Care
3:24 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Officials Seek Input on Alzheimer's State Plan

State officials want to make it easier for people living with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them. Nearly 25,000 Rhode Islanders suffer from the disease, and an estimated 60,000 are their unpaid caregivers.

A work group spearheaded by Lt Gov Elizabeth Roberts and Division of Elderly Affairs chief Catherine Taylor has issued a set of recommendations in the state’s first comprehensive Alzheimer’s plan.

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Health Care
12:37 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Thundermist, Kent Partner on Family Medicine Residency Program

Kent Hospital and Thundermist Health Center have teamed up to train new physicians in family medicine and a new kind of health care model called a patient-centered medical home. It's the first community health center-based training of its kind in the state

When medical students graduate, they go on to do a residency program for more on-the-job training. Most residencies take place in hospitals. But that’s changing. This new program will place family medicine residents from Kent Hospital in Warwick’s Thundermist community health center.

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The Pulse
3:05 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Preventing Gun Violence in Spotlight Nationally, But in RI?

Seized guns
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

As far as I can tell from the Rhode Island General Assembly's online legislation tracker, not a single bill dealing with reducing firearm violence has made it out of committee. Most have been recommended "held for further study," a kind of legislative purgatory, although some bills could be revived at the last minute.

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The Pulse
12:32 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Will National Spotlight on Mental Health Help RI?

President Barack Obama kicked off the National Conference on Mental Health yesterday. But can a conference actually accomplish anything? Too soon to tell.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Sat June 1, 2013

In Newport, A Public Art Project Moves Past Protests

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and artist Maya Lin
Kristin Gourlay RIPR

The newly redesigned Queen Anne Square officially opened to the public Friday in downtown Newport. The public park’s new look is thanks to well-known artist and architect Maya Lin. But the project faced plenty of protest.

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Arts & Culture
4:06 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Redesigned Queen Anne Square Opens in Newport

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and artist Maya Lin at the dedication of the redesigned Queen Anne Square in Newport
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A newly redesigned Queen Anne Square opened to the public in downtown Newport today, with much fanfare. But the project  nearly divided the city.

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Health Care
4:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

RI Health Dept. Identifies Killer Synthetic Drug

State health officials say they have solved the mystery of a synthetic drug that’s now killed 12 people.

Department of Health officials say those who died appear to have been intravenous drug users. Most came from northern Rhode Island. It took the department’s own scientists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an independent testing lab to identify the drug the deceased were injecting. It’s a synthetic opioid called acetyl fentanyl, similar to morphine. It’s man-made, illegal, and doctors don’t prescribe it.

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The Pulse
5:10 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Majority Support Medical Pot in New NEJM Poll

To recommend, or not to recommend, medicinal marijuana? That's the question recently posed in a New England Journal of Medicine interactive online poll. To get a feel for physicians' opinions, NEJM presented readers with a fictional clinical situation. Here's the scenario:

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