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 WFPL 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 music, cooking, and spending time with her family.

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Health Care
9:18 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Proponents Claim Eliminating 'Caregivers' Would Create Stronger Medical Marijuana Regulation

Medical marijuana has been legal in Rhode Island since 2006.
Credit Federal Wildlife Service

A bill that would eliminate caregivers from the state’s medical marijuana program continues to stir up controversy. But a lobbyist behind the bill says his client simply wants more regulation of the medical marijuana industry.

So-called caregivers are allowed to grow a small number of medical marijuana plants for a few patients. They’ve launched a campaign to discredit a bill that would replace caregivers with two growing and distribution centers. Lobbyist Peter Petrarca denies claims the bill would only benefit his client, Rhode Island Growers and Distributors LLC.

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Health Care
9:06 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Rising Tide: To Survive Rough Times, Women Business Owners Join Forces

Members of Seniors RULE, including Sarah Scaramella (bottom right), gather for lunch at a diner in Warwick.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide,” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

Today, we visit a diner in Warwick, where a group of women have joined forces to beat tough times.

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The Pulse
2:32 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Mass. Public Health Looks To Rhode Island Overdose Prevention Model

Massachusetts public health officials are looking to Rhode Island for some new ideas to combat drug overdose deaths. They're interested in a program that connects emergency room patients with addiction recovery coaches.

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The Pulse
11:12 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Providence VA Makes Progress Reducing Wait Times

The Providence VA
Credit RIPR

An Associated Press analysis finds some veterans are waiting longer than the VA’s 30 day goal for a medical appointment. But at the Providence VA, just two percent of appointments fail to meet that goal. That's an improvement from six months ago, when about six percent of wait times failed to meet the timeliness goal.

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Health Care
9:14 am
Thu April 9, 2015

RI State Police Call For Tighter Restrictions On State Marijuana Laws

Marijuana plant
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

State Police are raising concerns about the state’s medical marijuana program. At issue is the role of caregivers, who are licensed by the state to grow a small number of plants for medical marijuana patients.

Rhode Island State Police spokesman Major Kevin O’Brien says last year police searched the homes of 21 caregivers. More than three-quarters of them were growing more marijuana than the law allows.

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