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.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy Sheldon Whitehouse office

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is introducing legislation to expand the Affordable Care Act. The bill comes just after President Donald Trump signed an executive order paving the way to repeal the health care act. It would create a public option, or a government negotiated health insurance plan, for people who want an alternative to commercial plans. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay spoke with Whitehouse about the bill and its chances in a Republican-led congress.

RIPR file photo

What’s happening in health in Rhode Island, Jan. 24

SLATER: Eleanor Slater Hospital has a new CEO: Cynthia Huether brings 25 years of behavioral health care experience to the job. Gov. Gina Raimondo has called for a turnaround of the hospital, where an independent report found people in the top leadership positions lacked the proper training and experience.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

After false statements from President Donald Trump’s press secretary about the size of the inauguration crowds, Democrats are scratching their heads over how to deal with the new administration. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said journalists have their work cut out for them.

Dept. of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals

Eleanor Slater Hospital has a new Chief Executive Officer: It’s Cynthia Huether, a former health system administrator from New York. 

Huether brings 25 years of health care experience to the state hospital, most recently as vice president of Behavioral Health at Rochester Regional Health in New York. At Eleanor Slater, Huether will manage more than 800 employees and a more than $109 million budget for this fiscal year.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Health and Human Services make up a little more than 40 percent of Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed 2018 budget. There are no huge surprises in this year’s recommendations, but much uncertainty over the fate of federal health care funding.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

A more than 30 year old missing persons case may be solved. Rhode Island State Police believe they have in custody a woman who allegedly abducted her daughters from Warwick in 1985.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Since the launch of the Rhode Island’s trouble social services system, UHIP, many nursing homes have gone without payment for Medicaid patients. Owed for months of care, many administrators are concerned they won’t be able to go without payment for much longer.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, Jan. 17th:

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Two state officials will take the fall for the rocky roll out of the state’s new online benefits system, UHIP. And system consultants Deloitte will not be receiving some $15 million dollars it is owed until the state can conduct a full review of their performance.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new program will help disabled Rhode Islanders save money in a tax free investment account without risking their federal and state benefits. The program will allow the disabled to set aside money for additional disability-related expenses.

Megan Hall / RIPR

As Republicans prepare to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a clear replacement, many Rhode Islanders are concerned about their future. Freelancers, artists, and adjunct professors are in a particularly precarious position, because they don’t have access to employer-sponsored health insurance. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital has filed an updated application with the state’s Health Department to expand its obstetrical unit. The hospital wants to offer seamless access to care for female patients, but some fear a duplication of services with Women and Infants Hospital.

FLICKR

Once again, Rhode Island lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would legalize recreational use of marijuana. The legislators unveil their proposal today at the Capitol. 

The news comes on the heels of Massachusetts’ recent legalization of the drug (although retail sales have been pushed back to 2018). But lawmakers in Rhode Island have been trying to pass a similar measure in the Ocean State for years. Sponsors include Senator Josh Miller and Representative Scott Slater.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Department of Children, Youth, and Families has a new director. Doctor Trista Piccola has been chosen to lead the social service agency. Governor Gina Raimondo plans to submit her name to the Rhode Island Senate today for their consent. A statement from the governor’s office says Piccola has more than 20 years of experience in child welfare. She began her career as a Protective Services Case Manager in Ohio, and was most recently head of child welfare services for Cleveland.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo has sent a letter to US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging him to reconsider repealing the Affordable Care Act. Raimondo argues the ACA is working in Rhode Island, and that repealing it would undo progress in insuring more Rhode Islanders.

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