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
12:55 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Agency Issues "Emergency Rules" In Drug Overdose Crisis

Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has issued emergency regulations in response to the recent spike in drug overdose deaths.

Read more
The Pulse
12:49 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Hearing Heroin Everywhere

Has heroin abuse reached epidemic proportions? What about painkiller abuse? Or are we just hearing more about it?

The academic jury is still out on this, as far as I can tell. Of course, it doesn't really matter what you call it if you've lost a loved one to heroin overdose.

Read more
The Pulse
12:31 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Communities Ask How To Prevent Overdose

RICARES flyer for an overdose prevention community forum on Feb. 5.
Credit RICARES

Two community forums are taking place over the next week to talk about preventing overdose. They couldn't come at a better time.

Overdose kills more Rhode Islanders than any other kind of accident (including traffic and guns). During the first two weeks of January, 22 Rhode Islanders died from presumed illicit drug overdoses. Another two died over the past two weekends, according to a source at the health department.

Read more
The Pulse
1:18 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Should Unvaccinated Kids Stay Home?

Flu vaccine-filled syringes ready for administering at a workplace vaccine clinic.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

That depends on your priorities. But first, here's what's at issue:

Read more
Health Care
11:33 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Should Flu & HPV Shots Be Required For School Kids?

The state’s health department is considering updates to its immunization policy for school kids from preschool through college. The proposals would require flu shots for kids up to age five and the HPV vaccine for kids entering ninth grade.

Read more
The Pulse
1:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Ethics of Preventative Medicine

Art Caplan, medical ethicist with NYU's Langone Medical Center, speaking at a Poynter seminar for journalists on January 24, 2014.
Credit Al Tomkins / Poynter

I just returned from a seminar for reporters on covering what may come next for the Affordable Care Act. One of the last sessions was a talk by prominent bioethicist Art Caplan, new head of the NYU Langone Medical Center's Division of Medical Ethics (you can read more his illustrious career here).

Read more
The Pulse
6:43 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Hospitals Worry Medicaid Cuts Could Leave Them In The Red

We've been reporting on what the impacts might be if Governor Lincoln Chafee's proposed cuts to Medicaid take effect - for example, what's at stake for the state's nursing homes.

Read more
Health Care
6:00 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Proposed Medicaid Cuts Could Strap Nursing Homes

Gov. Lincoln Chafee has proposed $43 million in cuts to the state's Medicaid program. That's the program that provides health insurance for the poor and disabled. And it's recently been expanded under Obamacare.

And while Chafee's budget wouldn't cut services for Medicaid recipients, it would have an impact on how much health care providers are paid to care for Medicaid patients. To learn more, Rhode Island Public Radio's health care reporter Kristin Gourlay sat down with Virginia Burke, head of the Rhode Island Health Care Association, whose members are mainly nursing homes.

Read more
Health Care
10:41 am
Fri January 17, 2014

State Sees Unusually High Number Of Drug Overdoses In The First Weeks Of 2014

Two to three people die from drug overdoses each week in Rhode Island.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

22 Rhode Islanders have died this month from apparent drug overdoses. It's an unusually high number for the first two weeks of January, and the Rhode Island health department is urging caution.

The Rhode Island Health Department is warning residents about a spike in apparent drug overdose deaths since the beginning of this month. Twenty-two Rhode Islanders, ages 19 to 62, have died, mostly on the weekends, throughout Rhode Island.

Health officials say they don't know yet what drug is behind these accidental deaths.  The state's Medical Examiner is investigating.

Read more
The Pulse
3:56 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Ready: RI's Road Map For Health Care Transformation

A little while ago I mentioned this plan was being drafted, and open for public comment. The final product is available now, and it's worth a read, here: http://www.healthcare.ri.gov/healthyri/resources/SHIPwithAppendix.pdf (.pdf opens another document).

First, this document, the "Rhode Island State Healthcare Innovation Plan," produced out of Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts' office, is a great snapshot of the state's health care system. If you want a primer on our health care system, our biggest health problems, and where the opportunities lie for fixing them, look it over.

Read more

Pages