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
5:00 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Proposal to curb ER visits due

PROVIDENCE, RI - Monday is the deadline for Rhode Island's Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals to come up with a proposal to address a sticky problem: substance abusers who frequently end up in the emergency room.

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The Pulse
4:20 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Mental health records missing from RI’s gun background check data

Buying a gun from a dealer – say, a sporting goods store – triggers a federal background check. If you’re a convicted felon, you would fail the background check. So, too, if you’ve been involuntarily committed to an institution or otherwise ruled mentally ill. But the federal database against which background checks are run is only as good as the data. And Rhode Island is one of only four states that haven’t submitted any mental health records at all, according to a recent report out from a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

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Healthcare
4:16 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Rep. Morgan: RI should include mental health in gun background check

PROVIDENCE, RI - State representative Patricia Morgan is calling on Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to step up efforts to restrict gun ownership by people with mental illness.

A recent report from Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that Rhode Island had not submitted any mental health records to a federal registry for gun background checks. That’s despite federal regulations requiring states to submit such records on anyone who should be prohibited from owning a gun. State representative Patricia Morgan says officials don’t need to reinvent the wheel in order to comply.

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Business
4:32 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Winter storm puts Nat'l Grid on alert

PROVIDENCE, RI  - A powerful winter storm headed for New England has power company workers on standby to respond to outages. That's because high winds expected with this storm could down trees and power lines. National Grid spokeswoman Debbie Drew says the company is on alert for any problems.

"We've activated our emergency response system. And we're watching the storm track very closely," said Drew. "That helps us determine where best to deploy crews so we can get them to hard hit areas quickly."

health care
10:51 am
Wed December 26, 2012

RI compounding pharmacy reopens, scrutiny continues

PROVIDENCE, RI - Rhode Island health inspectors found that Bayview pharmacy had illegally distributed certain medications, failed to keep some records, and not properly maintained a sterile mixing area. A recent Health department order shows the pharmacy has been allowed to resume compounding as long as it follows procedures. But as public attention on compounding pharmacies continues, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy dean Ronald Jordan says he hopes any new regulations won't squelch patient access to the drugs they need.

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The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

Health Care
2:59 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

More public health research into gun violence?

We’re all still reeling from the Newtown, CT tragedy. Reeling…and trying to make sense of what happened and why. And that’s where health care professionals and scientists are often able to help. We’ve got some of the best right here in Rhode Island, who would probably love to be able to answer questions like: Could we get better at predicting who is likely to commit a crime with a gun? Does having access to a gun in the house make you more likely to commit a crime with a gun?

But here’s the thing. We don’t really know. And it’s not exactly their fault.

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Health Care
2:05 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

More Interest in Primary Care, But are Medical Schools Ready?

Interesting story from the American Medical Association’s news wire today about the growing number of medical students who are opting to pursue careers in family medicine. Students matched with family medicine residencies are up 14%this year from 2008, the writer reports (based on information from the national residency matching program).

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The Pulse
10:42 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Interview: RI Hospital ER chief: “There has to be a better way.”

This week, I’ve been covering Rhode Island’s efforts to change the way we deal with substance abusers who frequent the emergency room (part 1, part 2). I talked to emergency dispatchers, firefighters, addiction treatment specialists, public officials, and more.

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