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
4:22 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Marijuana, Addiction Hot Topics on Smith Hill

There's lots going on, legislatively speaking, in the world of addiction and especially marijuana (including the fake kind). At stake: whether marijuana will be legalized (it's already approved for medical use in the state) and whether fake marijuana will be banned.

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Health Care
12:54 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Sen. Whitehouse Cancer Research Bill Becomes Law

Rhode Island vs. U.S. cancer death rates, 2009
Credit National Program of Cancer Registries / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has helped pass a new cancer research law that targets pancreatic and other hard-to-treat cancers. Whitehouse lost his own mother to pancreatic cancer several years ago. The legislation aims to boost early detection and treatment.

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Health Care
3:23 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Flu Vaccine Less Effective but Still Urged for Seniors

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates this year’s flu vaccine was effective about fifty percent of the time. But the vaccine was much less protective for older adults.

The CDC found that vaccinations against influenza types A and B were about 56 percent effective overall. But in people aged 65 and older, the vaccines only worked 27 percent of the time. But Rhode Island Department of Health director Doctor Michael Fine says that’s no reason NOT to get vaccinated.

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The Pulse
1:36 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Landmark Appoints Medical Director; Still Waiting on Prime

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center has appointed a new medical director.

Dr. Glenn Fort has been a member of Landmark’s staff for nearly 25 years, most recently as the head of medical staff. Now, he’ll oversee and coordinate medical care and be the link between medical staff and the hospital’s senior management, including the Special Master. Fort specializes in infectious disease and has additional training in public health.

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Future Docs
5:35 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Diversity in Med School: Some Ups, Some Downs

Medical school applicants by race, 1977-2011
Credit Association of American Medical Colleges

New data is out in a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges on diversity in medical school applications, enrollments, graduations, and faculty. The headlines: future doctors are still mostly white, and mostly men. But the gap has narrowed dramatically between female and male graduates. African American applications to medical school are up more than 30%, but fewer black men are applying these days.

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Guns
2:10 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Guns and lies

Credit Gun Appreciation Day

No word yet on how Rhode Island might address the growing debate about gun control and violence prevention. My colleague Ian Donnis and I have been covering the issue (see some related stories, below), and so far we know there's talk of proposing legislation (no details yet) and a vague working group of lawmakers and policymakers discussing the issues. Those issues probably include Rhode Island's participation in a national gun background check database and how to use mental health records when it comes to allowing firearms purchases.

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The Pulse
5:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

How the Affordable Care Act could affect RI insurance rates

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the biggest things to hit health care in decades. And you might already have started to feel its effects on your own health care - from no-cost preventative services to the ability to keep kids on your health insurance plan longer.

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Health Care
2:58 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Mass. docs want tighter controls on medical marijuana

In Rhode Island, medical marijuana is already legal, through people who are so-called “caregivers” selling to patients. The state has established three “compassion centers” that haven’t opened yet. In Massachusetts, regulators are still considering how to implement the law. Doctors there want tighter controls.

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Health Care
12:42 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Another try for the "I'm sorry" bill for doctors

A bill that would protect doctors from legal action if they tell their patients they’re sorry has been filed once again in the General Assembly. The bill faces an uphill battle.

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Future Docs
4:04 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

More med school grads, but fewer residency slots

Credit National Residency Match Program

As if getting into medical school weren't competitive enough. Today's and tomorrow's graduates will find it increasingly harder to nab a residency position, unless Congress acts to lift the cap on residency slots it's kept in place for nearly 15 years.

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