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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The Pulse
4:03 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Drug Overdose Deaths; Tracking Opioid Prescribers

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Opioids are narcotic painkillers, and they include popular drugs with brand names like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Demerol. Heroin is another. And while the former have eased the pain of many, all of these drugs are potential killers. They're incredibly addictive. And prescription drug overdose deaths, according to what many health care providers and experts tell me, have reached epidemic status in Rhode Island.

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Health Care
3:13 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Women & Infants Researcher Counters Critics of Premature Baby Study

Examining an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Naval Medical Center San Diego
Credit US Navy

Women and Infants Hospital is responding to allegations that a research study of premature babies in which it participated didn’t properly inform parents of the risks.

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Future Docs
5:00 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Future Docs 10: Good Luck, Sarah and Peter

Second year medical student Peter Kaminski practices suturing on a pig's foot.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Throughout the school year, we’ve been documenting the experiences of two Brown University medical students. They’ve begun their careers at a time when health care is changing dramatically – from where we get care to who provides it and how we pay for it. But our Future Docs Sarah and Peter are ready to dive in. They’re about to begin their third year in medical school, leaving behind the familiarity of the classroom for the new world of the hospital wards.

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Health Care
2:20 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Newport Drinking Water Exceeds Safety Standard

Credit Environmental Protection Agency

Newport residents received notice this week that levels of some cancer-causing chemicals in their water have exceeded what’s allowed by the federal government. It’s no emergency, but the city is upgrading its treatment facilities to prevent possible long term health effects.

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The Pulse
2:08 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

New Hospital Price Data Helps, But What About Quality?

You may have heard news yesterday that the federal government has released a greater level of detail on the prices hospitals charge for a list of common procedures and how widely those prices vary - not only from state to state but within states, and  even within the same city. The data comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS), from 3000 hospitals nationwide.

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Future Docs
5:14 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Med School Enrollment Up 30% by 2017. Will It Help?

New data from the Association of American Medical Colleges shows med school enrollment is on track to reach a 30% increase by 2017. That's over enrollment numbers in 2002.

Rhode Island's own Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is no exception, with record enrollment numbers.

What's most interesting about the data is that a good number of the new med school slots are in newly accredited or in-the-process-of-becoming accredited medical schools. There's one in our own backyard that fits that bill, Quinnipiac.

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Health Care
2:45 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

USDA to Help RI Feed Low-Income Kids This Summer

Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon at a school lunch program in Arlington, VA, October 2011.
Credit US Dept. of Agriculture

Rhode Island is getting a boost from the US Department of Agriculture to help attract more kids in need to its summer food program. The USDA’s goal is to increase participation by 10 percent.

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The Pulse
2:42 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Rhode Island's Health Dashboard

Want a quick read on how we're feeling here in the Ocean State? Check the gauges on rihealthcarematters.org. It's a new web site from the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, with collaboration from local hospitals and the RI Dept. of Health. The site taps a range of federal and local data sources (like the US census) calculate residents' health, as measured by a variety of indicators - 100 in all.

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Politics
1:35 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Lawmakers Give Coventry Fire District Until Sept. 1

Legislation that would allow the troubled Central Coventry Fire District to collect taxes through September 1st of this year is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The Rhode Island Senate passed the bill 29 to seven last night. It would give the district a little more breathing room to come up with a plan to raise funds. But it doesn’t provide a final solution to the town’s problems. State leaders have been reluctant to provide permanent relief to the town’s fire district, which has been operating in the red since last year.

Health Care
1:56 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

BCBSRI Responds to Steward Suit Over Failed Landmark Deal

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island is responding to a lawsuit claiming that it stymied Steward Health Care’s bid to acquire Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket.

Steward is the Massachusetts-based, for-profit health care chain that tried to acquire Landmark, which has been in receivership for several years. Steward filed suit in Superior Court this week claiming Blue Cross thwarted those plans purposefully to maintain what Steward calls an unlawful monopoly on commercial insurance and hospital services.

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