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
1:07 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Obamacare Sign-Ups: What The Numbers Mean

Here's a sampling of headlines from the past two days about the latest Obamacare exchange enrollment numbers (thanks to Kaiser Health News for rounding these up):

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Health Care
5:00 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Concern Growing That Low Income Parents Can't Afford Health Insurance

Many of the state's poorest residents may run into trouble under Obamacare.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

About 4500 parents who used to have health insurance through RIte Care, the state’s Medicaid program, will have to reapply for insurance if they want to remain covered after the end of the month. The biggest concern is that the poorest Rhode Islanders may not be able to afford it.

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The Pulse
4:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tools For Health Care Consumers: Quality, Cost, And Care

Thousands of Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance in recent weeks, some for the first time. I'm thinking that means some might not be so familiar with our health care system, or they might not know how to keep costs down with plans that carry higher deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.

So... here are a few tools to help you navigate, from finding the highest quality, to keeping costs down, to managing your own health. It's not an exhaustive list, but a start...if you're starting from scratch!

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The Pulse
2:40 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

50 Years Of Anti-Tobacco Efforts. Can RI Quit Now?

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Can we slack off on prevention efforts now? Not if we want to prevent the estimated 1,750 tobacco-related deaths every year, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health. And that doesn't take into account the number of years lives are shortened by exposure to second-hand smoke.

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Health Care
1:19 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Flu Now Officially Widespread In RI

Flu vaccine-filled syringes ready for administering.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

It was only a matter of time…

The flu is now widespread in Rhode Island.

That means there are outbreaks of the flu in more than half the state. It also kicks into effect a state requirement that health care professionals who have NOT been vaccinated wear surgical masks whenever they’re in contact with patients. The health department reports that flu-related hospitalizations are up as well.

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The Pulse
4:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Update: RIte Care, Low Income Rhode Islanders, And The ACA

Some of the lowest-income Rhode Islanders may be losing their health insurance coverage or paying a bit more for it by the end of this month.

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Politics
12:24 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Sen. Reed Urges Congress To Pass Unemployment Benefits

Legislation sponsored by Jack Reed that would extend long-term unemployment benefits passed Tuesday (1/7) in the Senate.
Credit Flo Jonic

Senator Jack Reed says he’s pleased a bill he co-sponsored to extend unemployment benefits for 90 days has moved forward in the Senate on a procedural vote. And he’d like to see it continue to move forward without having to negotiate how to pay for it. But Reed says he’s open on that point.

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Weather
4:01 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Rhode Islanders Dig Out, Warm Up

A snow plow clears streets in Cranston.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The first snowstorm of 2014 may not have delivered all the snow we expected. But it has delivered the searing cold.  

Here's how Ocean Staters are digging out and staying warm.

Paul Caminero spent the morning shoveling snow in downtown Providence. But staying outside this long, in this kind of cold? That required some preparation.

“I’ve basically thrown on everything I can,” laughed Caminero. “I’ve got on two pairs of pants, gloves, North Face jacket, hoodie.”

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Health Care
1:28 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

HealthSource RI Signs Up 9800 For Jan. 1 Coverage

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange reports that more than 9800 Rhode Islanders have signed up for health coverage with private insurance plans to date. And while you might have missed the deadline to get covered as of January 1st, enrollment remains open through March 31st.

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The Pulse
12:42 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

How To: New Year's Resolutions

There's no shortage of advice for how to make, keep, or ditch your New Year's resolutions. Here are a few for your consideration, from the scientific to the not-so-very-scientific at all.

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