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

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island has hired a new Medicaid director. The hire comes at a time when major changes could be afoot for the state’s health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

PHOTO: RIPR FILE

Rhode Island’s congressional representatives and others are condemning the bill unveiled by U.S. House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. U.S. Representative David Cicilline says the bill would hurt Rhode Islanders.

The Republicans’ plan does away with the requirement that individuals have health insurance, though it does allow insurers to charge more for people whose coverage lapses. It would end expanded Medicaid coverage by 2020. And it would provide people with tax credits – up to $14,000 per family – to buy health insurance.

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What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, March 7:

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin wants to list emerging synthetic opioids as controlled substances. Kilmartin says this would give law enforcement the opportunity to crack down on these addictive, dangerous drugs.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island Senator Gayle Goldin and Representative Shelby Maldonado are introducing legislation that would expand paid family leave through a program called Temporary Caregiver Insurance. The bill would allow more kinds of caregivers to take time off work to care for family members, and boost the wages they receive while away.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Senator Gayle Goldin and Representative Shelby Maldonado are introducing legislation that would expand paid family leave through a program called Temporary Caregiver Insurance. The bill would allow more kinds of caregivers to take time off work to care for family members, and boost the wages they receive while away.

RIPR File Photo

Medical professionals and community members interested in transgender health are holding a conference today convened by Brown University, Rhode Island College, and nonprofit advocacy group the TGI Network. The conference comes at a time of heated rhetoric about transgender issues.

RIPR FILE

Health insurers are expected to file their plans for 2018 in May. They’re faced with uncertainty about how much to charge as federal lawmakers work on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

RIPR File Photo

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, Feb. 28

UHIP: The House Oversight Committee continues hearings on UHIP Thursday, March 2 at the State House. On the agenda: delayed payments to long-term care providers. The state’s new public benefits system has been riddled with problems. Lawmakers say they want to keep an eye on progress fixing the troubled system and get to the bottom of what went wrong. The House Oversight Committee is chaired by Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Warwick).

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Despite efforts to raise awareness and target groups at risk, overdose deaths continue to climb in Rhode Island. More than 320 Rhode Islanders died of opioid overdoses in 2016, compared to 290 in 2015. Soon after taking office, Governor Gina Raimondo convened a task force to reduce overdose deaths. Do they need to revisit their strategy?

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The ACLU of Rhode Island has reached a settlement with the state over the state’s failure to provide food stamps on time. The suit argued the rocky rollout of a new public benefits system caused thousands of households to be denied or face lengthy waits for their benefits.  

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The National Education Association of Rhode Island  is speaking out against President Donald Trump’s repeal of federal guidelines on school bathroom use for transgender students. The organization says it will stand behind transgender students’ choices.

NEARI president Larry Purtill says it’s important to remember that Trumps’ action does not undo legal protections for transgender students. And it may not have an immediate impact in Rhode Island.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

What’s broken about Rhode Island’s mental health system and what would it take to fix the problems? 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Warwick Representative Patricia Serpa has requested that the state’s Auditor General conduct an audit of all payments to contractors involved in the public benefits computer system known as UHIP. Rhode Island Auditor General Dennis Hoyle has accepted her request according to a statement from the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Stanford University

Researchers at Brown University have helped advance a technology  that allows people to use a computer with nothing but brain power.  The project, dubbed BrainGate, is helping paralyzed people type faster and more accurately than ever before.

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