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.

Pages

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Health Care
3:52 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Fine on flu vaccination: "We can do better"

Dr. Michael Fine, director of the RI Dept. of Health
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

While flu season is technically still here, Rhode Island’s Department of Health has lifted its declaration of “widespread” flu. More on the state’s response to a tough season.

Department of health head Dr. Michael Fine says he’s pleased that more health care workers and members of the general population got vaccinated against the flu this year than last. But he says the state can do better than 50%.

“If we had vaccinated instead of 500,000 Rhode Islanders, 900,000 or more, we would have expected to see many fewer hospitalizations and many fewer illnesses.”

Read more
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.

Read more

Pages