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
5:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Landmark's New Owner Must Use Rx Monitoring Program, Invest In Primary Care

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

California-based Prime Healthcare Services won approval earlier this week to buy Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center. But the approval came with conditions. One is that the company keep Rhode Island regulators abreast of a federal investigation it’s under for allegedly over-billing Medicare. Another is that Prime invest in primary care and in preventing hospital re-admissions. The Department of Health expressed some concern about Prime’s practices at other hospitals, but department head Michael Fine said the terms of the deal to acquire Landmark should allay those concerns.

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The Pulse
12:46 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

New Data On How Poverty Hurts Kids' Brains

Areas of the brain involved in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Credit National Institute of Mental Health

Stress can affect developing brains, including the kind of stress that poverty can create. But a strong caregiver can mediate those effects. Those are the findings of a new study in the Journal JAMA Pediatrics. It's not news that stress and poverty can have negative effects.

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The Pulse
12:32 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

What's Next For Landmark

The deal still has to close, which officials expect by sometime in December. But now some of the hard work begins. How exactly do you turn a faltering hospital around?

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Health Care
5:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Deal To Acquire Landmark Approved

Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center is about to turn the page on a long and challenging chapter in its history. The struggling hospital has received regulatory approval to be acquired by a for-profit hospital chain called Prime Healthcare. That means an end to five years of uncertainty for employees, patients, and the community.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Decision Expected On Landmark's Future

Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket has been in receivership since 2008.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Today is the deadline for state regulators to decide whether an out-of-state hospital chain can acquire Woonsocket's Landmark Medical Center. The decision will mark the end of five years of uncertainty for the struggling hospital.

Landmark has been in receivership, a kind of bankruptcy, since 2008. It's flirted with several different potential buyers who got cold feet for one reason or another and pulled out. It's battled the state's largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, for higher payments.

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The Pulse
11:06 am
Fri October 25, 2013

The Waiting Room: A System Broken In So Many Places

Production still of an ER resident and director of the film "The Waiting Room."
Credit The Waiting Room project

Last night I watched the beautifully crafted documentary "The Waiting Room." It captures 24 hours in a single hospital's waiting room, following the stories of a diverse cast of patients and staff. There's no narration except how the characters tell their own stories and how those weave into the larger story this documentary tells.

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The Pulse
3:04 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Doctor Is In...Central Falls

Central Falls City Hall
Credit Ryan T. Conaty

Last night I attended one of what could be the first of 39 more public forums, put on by the state's health department, around Rhode Island. And it wasn't what I thought it would be.

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Health Care
5:03 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Doctors Dropped From Medicare Ask State Leaders For Help

Credit Wikimedia Commons

United Healthcare has notified an unknown number of Rhode Island doctors that they’re being cut from its Medicare Advantage plan network. The news comes during Medicare’s open enrollment period and could affect thousands of senior citizens in the Ocean State.

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Health Care
3:22 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Women & Infants Labor Dispute Over Definition Of "Delivery"

A labor dispute at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence has erupted over the layoff of 16 staff members. The layoffs, and the dispute, turn on the definition of a single word: deliveries.

Members of the Service Employees International Union local 1199 are picketing outside Women and Infants over the hospital’s decision to cut several cleaning, lab, and clinical staff. Union spokesman Patrick Quinn says his members dispute the hospital’s claim that the number of deliveries – and therefore the need for as many staff – has dropped below 8500 over the past year.

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The Pulse
2:35 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

United And Medicare: When Insurers Drop Your Doctor

You may have heard about United Healthcare's decision to cut a number of doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan in Rhode Island and some surrounding states. That means that, for some seniors, their doctor may no longer be considered "in network" - and, therefore, no longer affordable for some, since "out of network" doctor visits cost more.

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