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
1:51 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Breathe Easier, Rhode Island

Asthma inhaler
Credit Wikimedia Commons

For your lungs, some good news and some let's-hope-it's-better-this-time news. 

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Health Care
5:01 am
Mon April 28, 2014

CharterCare Sale Hearing Tonight; Rebuffed Suitor Cries Foul

Tonight, the public will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale of CharterCare Health Partners – which owns Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals – to California-based Prospect Medical Holdings. But the process hasn’t been without some bumps in the road.

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The Pulse
2:42 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

In Network, Out-Of-Network: What It Means, Why It Matters

When it comes to health insurance, "in-network" means a provider or facility that's contracted with your insurer to provide services at an agreed-upon rate. "Out-of-network" means a provider or facility that doesn't have an agreement with your insurer. Whether in-network or out-of-network providers and facilities are covered, and to what extent, depends on your particular health insurance plan.

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Health Care
1:59 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

United Healthcare, Landmark Await Ruling On Network

Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket is only a few months into its new chapter as a for-profit hospital.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The public comment period has ended and now the Rhode Island health department must decide whether United Healthcare can cut Landmark Medical Center from its insurance network. The decision could affect thousands of patients.

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Health Care
9:08 am
Wed April 23, 2014

RI's Eldery Latino Population Increasingly Isolated

Elderly Latinos in Rhode Island and their families may not be aware of the programs available to help them.  That’s the premise of a conference planned for Wednesday at Rhode Island College.

RIC’s gerontology program is hosting the conference, called “Meeting the Needs of Latino Elderly.” The idea is to draw attention to state programs Latinos and their families might not know about because of language barriers or immigration status. But Latino community advocate and conference moderator Delia Rodriquez Masjoan said those aren’t the only reasons.

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Health Care
11:45 am
Tue April 22, 2014

CurrentCare Must Spell Out How To Change, Remove Records

A statewide electronic health records program must be more transparent and offer patients more privacy protections. That’s the result of a suit brought by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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The Pulse
4:37 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Hep C: Who Gets New, Better Drugs, And Who Waits?

A few health care organizations are trying to grapple right now with the great news that, on the one hand, new hepatitis C treatments are more effective and more tolerable for patients; on the other, they're so expensive they can't figure out how to treat everyone who's infected. How expensive? $1000 a pill, one pill a day. One pill a day that doesn't make you sick is music to the ears of people who've been on the older treatments.

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Health Care
3:04 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Free Dental Clinic Aims To Treat 1,000

Participants at a free Rhode Island dental clinic last year.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A cadre of dental health care providers will attempt to provide free dental care for 1,000 uninsured patients next month. Organizers have announced the dates for the third annual free dental clinic.

The Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation says volunteers will to try to help hundreds of patients over May 31st and June 1st on the campus of the Community College of Rhode Island. It's called the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy free dental clinic. The idea is to help poor patients with urgent dental problems.

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The Pulse
1:55 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

The Warm Hand-Off

Doctors' offices and emergency departments sometimes struggle with how to help someone in active addiction. Where do you send them once they're stabilized? How do you talk to them about their addiction? Often they don't have the resources to arrange the next steps for these patients, and therein lies a missing link for addicts who seek medical help for one reason or another but don't get into treatment for the addiction that probably played a role in their seeking medical help in the first place.

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Health Care
1:32 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

RI Launches New Programs To Treat Addicts, Prevent Overdoses

From left to right: State police chief Col. Stephen O'Donnell, Governor Lincoln Chafee, Health department director Dr. Michael Fine, Dept. of Behavior Health head Craig Stenning, and the Providence Center's Jim Gillen at a press conference Thursday at the Anchor Community Recovery Center in Pawtucket, discuss a reporter's question.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State leaders have announced some new steps in the fight against prescription painkiller and heroin addiction. The news accompanies the release of the latest grim numbers of drug overdose deaths.  

Rhode Island health department head Michael Fine told a standing-room-only crowd at the Anchor Community Recovery Center in Pawtucket that 85 people have died since January from suspected drug overdoses, mostly heroin. Hundreds more have overdosed but survived, he said, thanks to an antidote called Narcan, which first responders carry.

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