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

Kathleen Gorman

Hundreds of thousands of Rhode  Islanders receive state assistance like food stamps and Medicaid. The agency that helps connect them with those benefits - the Department of Human Services - is in the midst of a major reorganization. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island:

Tropical Storm Hermine is making her way up the Eastern seaboard. But the National Weather Service’s Lenore Correia says don’t expect stormy weather just yet in Rhode Island.

“It will be a little bit cooler than usual, so we’re only going to see highs in the mid-70s," said Correia. "So it could be nice and it definitely will not be humid as it has been. But it will be clear and there’s no chance of showers for tomorrow.”

Aaron Read / RIPR

There’s new federal funding to help Rhode Island fight the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. The money is going toward better data collection, first responders and an overdose hotline.

Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling / RIPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates nearly a third of Americans are pre-diabetic. Many more are already diabetic. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency is proposing lowering its threshold for childhood lead poisoning to match recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

International Overdose Awareness Day / Pennington Institute (Australia)

International Overdose Awareness Day is being observed around the globe Wednesday. New Englanders are marking the occasion with several events.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island, including opposition to a proposed power plant, an Alzheimers study, fewer deer ticks, and remembering overdose victims.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning states about an uptick in the availability of counterfeit painkillers. These drugs are contributing to the ongoing opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.

The pills are labeled as OxyCodone or Xanax, for example, but could contain varying amounts of a much stronger opioid painkiller called fentanyl. These are illicit drugs, sold outside of pharmacies. 

RIPR file photo

A Brown University student accused of sexual assault and suspended for two years will be allowed to return to school this fall. The student is awaiting a decision on a lawsuit he brought against the university.

A federal judge ruled the student could enroll for classes this fall pending the outcome of his case.

Brown found the student – known as “John Doe” - was responsible for sexually assaulting a female student and suspended him in April. Doe says it was consensual, and he sued the university.

Doe must have no contact with his accuser, according to the judge.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Vaccination rates for Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, are up among teen boys and girls across the U.S., and particularly in Rhode Island. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 2014 to 2015, HPV vaccination rates among teen boys climbed several percentage points, with about half of all teen boys receiving the vaccine. For girls, who started with higher vaccination rates, the increase was smaller. Roughly 62 percent of teenage girls received the vaccine.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

70 employees at the state Department of Human Services have received layoff notices because of a system-wide reorganization. It's part of a shift to online applications for benefits like food stamps.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Graphic: Benjamin Bouvier, Elliott Liebling

The rate of diabetes among Latinos in Rhode Island has shot up faster than any other group. Why the disparity in health between this group and others? It's a tangle of problems scientists don’t entirely understand.