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
5:48 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Should Smokers Pay More for Health Insurance?

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be able to charge smokers up to 50% more than non-smokers for health insurance. Fair or not, a Politico article points out how difficult that policy might be to enforce - and not simply because smokers could lie. For instance:

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RI News
8:47 am
Mon March 4, 2013

The Wearin' of the Green in RI

Clover
Credit courtesy NPR.org

The season of St. Patrick’s has already kicked off in Rhode Island. Pawtucket’s annual parade stepped off on Saturday. Newport’s St. Patrick’s Day parade gets marching on Saturday, March 16.  And Providence’s parade takes place next Saturday. Sister Anne Keefe has been named this year’s Grand Marshal for the Providence parade. She’s recognized for her work in social justice and human rights, including chairing the Providence Human Rights Commission and co-founding the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Sen. Miller Health Reform Bill Tackles Costs, Transparency

Rhode Island Sen. Josh Miller has introduced a wide-ranging health care reform bill he hopes will give consumers more information about the costs and quality of the care they receive.

Miller’s bill tries to tackle several major health care reform goals the state has been moving towards in one package. It includes strategies to rein in health care costs and boost consumer access to information about those costs.

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Gun Legislation in RI
5:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

AG Kilmartin on Gun Background Checks, New Legislation

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin in the RIPR studio.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

There’s a lot of talk on Smith Hill this week about guns, including several new bills that aim to tighten gun ownership and possession laws. We sat down with Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to learn more about how his office is contributing to the gun conversation. One major issue is Rhode Island’s participation in the national gun background check databases.

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Future Docs
5:00 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Future Docs 7: Sarah and Peter Reach a Milestone

Second-year medical student Sarah Rapoport takes the microphone.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

During the past school year, Rhode Island Public Radio has been following two Brown University medical students to see how medical training is evolving with changes in health care. We’re checking in now with Future Docs Sarah Rapoport and Peter Kaminski, who are about to leave the classroom for the exam room – in more ways than one.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Wed February 27, 2013

House Considers Banning Fake Marijuana, Bath Salts

Attorney General Peter Kilmartin
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The General Assembly is scheduled to hear testimony today on legislation banning drugs like synthetic marijuana and bath salts. The proposed legislation comes from Rhode Island's Attorney General.

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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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