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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Health Care
5:19 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Prime's Application to Buy Landmark Now Complete

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island regulators have deemed Prime Healthcare’s application to buy Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center complete.

Now the Attorney General and Department of Health can begin their official review of California-based Prime Healthcare’s bid to buy the troubled community hospital. That review begins July 1st and ends October 28th under Rhode Island’s Hospital Conversion Act.

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Environment
4:38 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Invasive Beetle and Borer: "We're Pretty Much Surrounded"

A male Asian longhorned beetle
Credit UVM / USDA

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is once again urging summer campers not to move firewood from outside the state. That’s to keep from spreading a couple of tree-killing invasive insects, which, so far, haven’t shown up in Rhode Island. But this year, they’re closer than ever.

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The Pulse
12:01 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Koller Reflects on Time in Office, Outlook for RI Health Care

Chris Koller
Credit Ryan T. Conaty / RIPR

Chris Koller, Rhode Island’s first commissioner of health insurance, spent his last day in office today. Before he heads to New York City to take over as president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, he stopped by our studios to reflect on his time in office here.

The General Assembly created Koller’s position – a first in the nation, too – in the mid-2000s to help address growing concern over the cost of health insurance and how insurers were paying health care providers.

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Politics
9:05 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Temporary Disability Insurance Program Passes in the Senate

Temporary Caregiver Insurance passed in the General Assembly, and now heads to the Governor's office.
Credit RIPR FILE

A measure that would expand the state’s Temporary Disability Insurance program has passed the Senate and now heads to the House.   The bill could change things for Rhode Island workers who need to take time off from work to care for a family member.

State senator Gayle Goldin from Providence sponsored the bill creating the Temporary Caregiver Insurance program.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Last Day on Job for RI's First Health Insurance Commissioner

Today is the last day on the job for Rhode Island’s –and the nation’s—first commissioner of health insurance. Chris Koller is leaving the position to take the helm of a foundation in New York City. He leaves behind some significant changes in the health insurance marketplace.

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Health Care
7:44 am
Thu June 27, 2013

DOMA Ruling Won't Change Much For RI's Largest Health Insurer

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

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The Pulse
3:46 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Landmark in Limbo as Regulators Review Prime's Application, Once Again

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Been wondering what's happening with Landmark Medical Center? So has Woonsocket's mayor, Leo Fontaine. He wrote a letter to Governor Lincoln Chafee, pleading with him to weigh in on the process, use his influence to somehow resolve it. Problem is, regulators say that won't help.

Here are excerpts of the mayor's letter to the governor, a copy of which he apparently emailed to several newsrooms, but not to the primary regulators involved in approving or denying Prime Healthcare's application to buy to Landmark Medical Center:

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Health Care
1:29 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Rhode Island Health Insurer Reacts to DOMA Decision

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue Cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

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RI News
5:43 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Firefighters Battle Heat, Chemical Blaze in Central Falls

A spokeswoman for Memorial Hospital said that three first responders were treated there for heat exhaustion after battling a five-alarm fire at a chemical company in Central Falls. Dyana Koelsch said none of those first responders had been admitted to the hospital.

Temperatures crested 90 degrees today, adding to dangerous conditions for firefighters and rescue workers.

The fire started today in an old mill building, most likely during a mixing process that involved toxic chemicals.

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Health Care
5:23 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Westerly Hospital Settles with DOJ Over Doctor-Hospital Deal

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Westerly Hospital has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over agreements it made with doctors not to compete for business. Westerly officials haven’t admitted wrongdoing, but the hospital’s arrangement with doctors may have contributed to higher patient costs.

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