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.

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Health Care
5:30 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Debrief: What Could A Strike At RI Hospital Mean?

Rhode Island Hospital employs more than 7000 workers.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Workers at Rhode Island Hospital have threatened to strike as contract negotiations reach an impasse. A federal mediator has been called in to help broker a deal between the hospital and members of the Teamsters union. The Teamsters represent certified nurses’ assistants and unit assistants, people who help care for patients.

What could a strike mean for patients and employees? Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to sort through the issues.

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The Pulse
3:35 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Family Visiting Program Wins $10 Million To Serve 500 More Families

The Rhode Island family visiting program has launched a recruitment campaign that includes options for texting and calling for more information.
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

Nurses and social workers will visit more homes across Rhode Island thanks to a two-year, $10 million dollar federal grant aimed at helping pregnant women and young children. The program could soon be serving more than a thousand Rhode Island families.

Congress established this home visiting program a few years ago to help families reduce the risks of pre-term births, low birth weights, and infant mortality. This round of funding marks a big expansion of the program in Rhode Island, said State Health Department Director Doctor Michael Fine.

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Health Care
12:21 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Health Officials To Evaluate Impact of Meningitis Vaccine At PC

Health officials plan to evaluate the effectiveness of a new vaccine for bacterial meningitis given en masse to Providence College students. Researchers will collect throat swabs from some of the thousands of students vaccinated over the next few months.

After two students at Providence College came down with meningitis, health officials rushed to vaccinate more than 3500 students to contain a potential outbreak. So far, no new cases have cropped up.

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Health Care
4:33 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Teamsters Authorize Strike At Rhode Island Hospital

Members of the Teamsters union working at Rhode Island Hospital voted Wednesday evening to authorize a strike. Don’t expect to see picket lines immediately.

The vote simply gives union leadership the authority to give the hospital 10 days' notice before striking. But members could walk off the job in a couple of weeks if they don’t reach a new contract deal with hospital management. A federal mediator has been called in, according to hospital officials.

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The Pulse
12:34 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Timely Approval For New Meningitis Vaccine; Controlling An Outbreak

Photomicrograph of the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis
Credit James Volk / CDC

Three strains of meningococcal bacteria - the critters that can cause meningitis - circulate and cause disease in the U.S. Until recently, we only had vaccines to protect against two of them. But in October 2014, the FDA approved a new vaccine for the strain known as serogroup B; on January 23rd, the agency approved a second vaccine for serogroup B, this one requiring just two doses, rather than three.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Can Murder Charges For Selling Drugs Stop Overdose Deaths?

A providence man has been charged with murder for selling drugs to a woman, who subsequently overdosed.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

A Providence man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge for selling the illicit drug fentanyl - a potent painkiller sometimes laced in heroin - that led to a woman’s overdose death. It’s the first time Rhode Island prosecutors have brought murder charges in connection with an overdose death. But the trend is taking hold nationwide.

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Health Care
12:49 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

Awards Series: At The Crossroads Hep C On The Rise And The Fight To Stop It

Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

A multimedia series about one of the greatest public health challenges of a generation

Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, though most of them don’t know it. But deaths from hepatitis C are on the rise in baby boomers. And throughout New England, new infections are creeping up among a younger generation of injection drug users.

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The Pulse
9:20 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Back After This Break

An oblique fracture, more specifically. That's what doctors saw on the X-ray of my son's femur.

My son is a walking, talking, energetic boy of 18 months. But a strange string of events at day care last Friday - a twist, the catching of a foot on a table leg, a toppling over -  has immobilized him. Doctors put him under, and set him in a spica cast. It's a nearly full-body mummification of both legs, down to the toes, and up the torso, to just under his little arm pits. His legs are splayed open, so he looks a bit like a cowboy who's just gotten off a very fat horse.

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The Pulse
2:00 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

At The Crossroads: The Road Ahead For Hep C

Host Kristin Gourlay with panelists Thomas Stopka and Michael Poshkus talk infection rates behind bars.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Our months-long series about hepatitis C, "At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop It," has officially come to an end. We had a great public forum ("Hepatitis C: Cost, Cure, and Challenge") last night at Brown University, the audio from which is posted here, and some key takeaways from which I'll share, below.

    

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Health Care
1:55 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Some Progress On Hospital Infections, But RI Still Lags On Some

Rhode Island is making some progress against hospital-acquired infections. But some infection rates are still higher than the national average.

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