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
3:47 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Health insurance rates increase for 2013

Rhode Islanders’ health insurance rates will be rising again in 2013. One reason is an unexpected dip in actual medical costs.

Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner recently approved rate increases for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Tufts. For Blue Cross, those increases will be an average of about 3.7% for small group plans and 7.9% for large groups. The state’s biggest insurer had initially applied for a much lower increase. But Blue Cross vice president of legal services Monica Neronha says that was based on what they paid out for members in 2011.

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Health Care
5:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

A place to sober up, instead of ER, for "frequent fliers"

A proposal is taking shape to divert frequent users of emergency rooms into a substance abuse treatment facility, instead. Rhode Island’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare has pitched a pilot program for Providence that would transport drunk or high people to a sobering center. Staff there could then connect them with more treatment or housing and job services. Dale Klatzker heads The Providence Center, one of the state’s largest community mental health organizations. He says marshaling the resources to address this social problem will be difficult.

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The Pulse
11:10 am
Wed February 13, 2013

What it meant: health care in the State of the Union

In last night's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama mentioned health care five times (by my count). One, later in the address, referred to making sure military veterans get the mental health care they need. The other mentions had to do with Medicare: as the nation ages, it's the biggest contributor to our nation's deficit.

Here's what he said:

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RI News
5:28 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Digging out: life returns to normal, for some

Brown MFA students play in downtown snow Saturday
Photo by: Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Rhode Islanders are emerging from a blizzard that sent two feet of snow and hurricane-force winds, grinding Rhode Island to a halt.  But life isn’t entirely back to normal for everyone.

Many Rhode Island communities have sprung back to life. Stepping out of the rain in downtown Providence, Craig Ellerby says he thinks this city got back on its feet quickly.

“They anticipated this stuff coming, so they had time to prepare for it," he said. "So they had a head start on the situation before it got here, which was a big plus.”

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The Pulse
12:19 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Gallup poll: healthy habits take a hit after the storm

News from the Gallup Wellbeing poll: healthy behaviors declined after Superstorm Sandy in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the hardest hit states.

The survey found residents less likely to be getting 30 minutes of regular exercise, and less likely to be eating healthy food. Why?

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Environment
8:39 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Good news for New England's greenhouse gasses

The regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions could be lowered by nearly half next year.  New England’s regional greenhouse gas emissions are already lower than expected.

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RI News
8:12 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Hundreds turn out for 50 healthcare openings

State health workers are in demand. A job fair Thursday, sponsored by the state’s Department of Labor and Training and department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals, advertised 50 open positions.

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RI News
12:49 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Providence storm prep: Friday commute "impossible"

Providence officials are preparing for what the National Weather Service says could be a historic snow storm.

The weather can change in an instant, of course. But officials are bracing for a whopper of a snowstorm starting tomorrow and lasting through Saturday afternoon. We could see winds up to 60 miles an hour by late Friday, coastal flooding, even thunder and lightning according to some reports.

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Future Docs
5:00 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Future Docs 6: Facing an older, sicker nation

Medical student Peter Kaminski works through a patient scenario with team members from local nursing, social work, and pharmacy schools.
Credit Photo by: Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

As a nation, we’re getting older, and we’re getting sicker. More of us than ever are over the age of 65. And more of us are suffering from at least one chronic disease. Next in our Future Docs series, how medical schools are trying to prepare students for these new realities.

“Hello, this is the family doctor!”

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Politics
5:50 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Ajello intros bill to legalize, tax, regulate marijuana

Sen. Donna Nesselbush on legalizing marijuana
Credit Photo by: Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State lawmakers are trying once again to legalize marijuana. More on the proposal to regulate and tax the drug.

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