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
2:16 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

RI falls behind on some kids' dental health measures

(PROVIDENCE, RI) A new report from the Pew Center on the States finds that Rhode Island is falling behind when it comes to meet children’s dental health needs.

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The Pulse
3:33 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

85 years later, penicillin still vital for Rhode Islanders

85 years ago, Alexander Fleming discovered some mold growing in one of his petri dishes. In his lab at Oxford, Fleming noticed a substance the mold produced inhibited the growth of some species of bacteria. But the substance was difficult to work with, and the discovery lingered untapped for many years.

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Health Care
4:32 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

ERs see unusual surge in flu patients

(PROVIDENCE, RI) Rhode Island’s hospital emergency rooms are coping with an unusually high surge of patients suffering from the flu. But what’s driving that increase?

Most people who catch this season’s flu will spend several uncomfortable days shivering in bed. But those who get hit particularly hard can end up in the hospital, needing fluids or suffering from a high fever. And right now, says Dr. Brian Zink, head of emergency medicine for Rhode Island and The Miriam Hospitals, those hit hard by the flu are making for very busy emergency rooms. The reason? The season.

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Health Care
2:23 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Miller: full agenda for state senate health committee

(PROVIDENCE, RI) State Sen. Josh Miller has been named chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The senator representing Cranston and Providence is anticipating a full agenda for health-related legislation.

Josh Miller takes the helm of the health and human services committee from former chairwoman Rhoda Perry, who didn’t run for reelection. As the new chair, Miller will wield influence over the senate’s health legislation agenda. He says he hopes to consider, in particular, legislation to address disparities in hospital payments.

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Health Care
3:13 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Memorial Hospital to join Care New England

Memorial Hospital is set to join Care New England, one of Rhode Island’s multi-hospital health care systems.

The two institutions signed an affiliation agreement but must receive further state and federal regulatory approvals before their partnership is official.

The organizations said in a statement today that the affiliation would help reduce overall operational costs and improve patient access to a range of health care services across the network.

Memorial joins Care New England’s three other Rhode Island hospitals, including Kent, Butler, and Women and Infants.

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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