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
9:23 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Looking At Next Year's Changes To The State's Health Insurance Landscape

Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

How much will health insurance cost you next year? Well, you’ll find out soon. Health insurers have submitted their plans for next year, including how much they want to charge customers and what benefits those plans will include.

In Rhode Island, it’s the office of the health insurance commissioner that reviews those plans and decides whether to approve or reject them, or ask for some changes.

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Health Care
3:55 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Small Businesses Ask Insurance Commissioner For Relief

The office of the health insurance commissioner held a public hearing on health insurance rates on June 17; small business owners showed up in force.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Small business owners are hoping the state’s health insurance commissioner will hold the line on the cost of health insurance for next year. The commissioner’s office is taking public comment on those proposed rates now. And at a public hearing last night, several small business owners testified about how rising insurance costs are eating into their bottom line. Bruce Dawson owns Central Tools in Pawtucket.

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Business
2:42 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Alex And Ani To Add 250 Jobs; New Leadership Named

Rhode Island retailer Alex and Ani has announced a new management team and a major expansion.

The jewelry maker says it expects to add 250 jobs over the next six months. Those jobs would be spread across the corporate and retail levels.

Alex and Ani also announced the addition of several new executives to its management team. Jayne Fitzpatrick-Conway has been named Chief Financial Officer. And the company added several new leadership positions, including heads of ecommerce, information technology, and marketing.

The Pulse
12:17 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

RI Teens Making Healthier Choices? That Depends.

It depends on what you define as progress, or on what you define as an acceptable risk.

Every two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts out results from its latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey, or YRBS. Teens are surveyed about all kinds of risky and healthy behaviors, from how likely they are to wear a bike helmet to whether or not they've eaten fruits or vegetables in the past week, as well as the usual suspects like smoking and unprotected sex.

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RI News
3:26 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Wyatt Detention Center Enters Receivership

The troubled Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls has entered receivership. The facility has been losing money for a while and contributed to the city’s financial woes.

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The Pulse
1:58 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Have Your Say About Health Insurance Rates

Health insurers have filed their requests for rate increases (or, in one case, decreases!) for the coming year (effective January 2015). The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner reviews those requests to make sure they're fair, and then issues a ruling, probably by mid-July. Before then, you have an opportunity to weigh in.

Here are the details on those opportunities, plus OHIC's summary of what insurers have requested.

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The Pulse
3:46 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Do You Want To Know If You're At Risk For Alzheimer's?

And if you were, would you want to know?

That's the ethical dilemma researchers at Butler Hospital and about 60 other sites nationwide will be grappling with as they recruit participants for a new clinical trial.

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Health Care
3:20 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Butler Kicks Off Alzheimer's Prevention Drug Trial

Butler Hospital, in Providence
Credit Butler Hospital

Researchers at Butler Hospital in Providence have kicked off a nationwide trial of a drug they hope will help prevent Alzheimer's. The trial marks a shift in Alzheimer's research.

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Health Care
5:05 am
Mon June 9, 2014

RI Food Bank: First (Slight) Decline In Need Since Recession

The food bank says it has seen the first (slight) decline in demand since 2008.
Credit RIPR FILE

This month, the number of Rhode Islanders seeking help from a statewide network of food pantries has declined. It’s the first decline, says Rhode Island Community Food Bank spokeswoman Cindy Elder, since the beginning of the economic recession in 2008.

“It’s not quite a reason to rejoice because we’re still really at remarkable high levels of need for food assistance.”

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Health Care
5:59 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Debrief: The Debate Over Sustaining HealthSource RI

HealthSource RI director Christy Ferguson believes the state should not join the federal exchange.
Credit RIPR FILE

State lawmakers have plenty of competing priorities to consider as they wrap up the legislative session. One of those is what to do with the state’s health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to talk about the lively debate that's developed around this question of whether to keep HealthSource going or scrap it and default to the federal health insurance exchange, healthcare.gov.

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