The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

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The Pulse
1:25 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A Refugee's Story: From Hunger To Health And Hope

Refugees from all over the world work at Edesia, a nonprofit manufacturing plant that makes a fortified peanut butter paste for treating malnutrition in kids. You can hear the story I did about Edesia here. While I was touring Edesia's factory and learning about the company's work, I heard much more than I could ever fit into a minutes-long radio story - incredible stories of survival, renewal. Many of them were once recipients of the very aid Edesia now makes.

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The Pulse
4:28 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Crossing The Threshold From Life To Death, With Music

I recently met someone who told me she's a member of the Hartford "Threshold Choir," and that she and her choir mates sing at the bedside of the dying.

At a time when you're more likely to encounter choirs of carolers, I thought it might be interesting to hear about some different voices.

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The Pulse
3:54 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Top 10 Developments In Mental Health Since Newtown

It's been a year since the tragedy in Newtown, CT took so many lives, including that of the gunman, who some believe was battling serious mental illness but may not have gotten all the treatment he needed.

We’ve heard lots, since then, about the need for more mental health resources, and lots about the rollercoaster ride of federal and state funding for those resources. Here’s a round up of some of the year’s most significant developments for mental health patients and advocates:

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The Pulse
1:06 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

CT Docs Vs. United Healthcare: Will RI Docs Follow Suit?

Connecticut doctors sued United Healthcare for dropping them from their Medicare Advantage network. Will Rhode Island follow suit?

Probably not, says Steven DeToy with the Rhode Island Medical Society. He told me he thinks it's unlikely the doctors will have any luck in court because United had the right to drop doctors - it's in their contract. And if they did, it could get expensive and messy: doctors could be responsible for half the cost of mediation if it comes to that.

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The Pulse
3:01 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Food Service Work: What About Equal Pay And Health Care?

Yesterday, fast food restaurant workers and their supporters went on strike around the country, including here in Rhode Island. Their demand: $15 an hour instead of the minimum wage (which will be $8 in January here in RI).

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The Pulse
3:47 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Reducing Overtreatment, Overtesting, And Overdiagnosis

Dr. Michael Fine, director of Rhode Island's Department of Health
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

I had a chance to speak to Department of Health director Dr. Michael Fine this morning as he traveled to a conference in Boston. The gathering, put on by the Lown Institute, is "From Avoidable Care to Right Care," convenes "...clinicians, patient advocates, and civic leaders to deepen our mutual understanding of the cultural, scientific, and ethical issues surrounding the overuse of medical services." (Dr.

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The Pulse
2:34 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

AIDS In RI: Who's At Risk?

It's World AIDS Day, and in Rhode Island several events are taking place to mark it, including an event earlier at the statehouse with the Rhode Island Coalition for HIV Prevention and announcements about new prevention initiatives by the Rhode Island Dept. of Health (more on those later).

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The Pulse
1:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Highest ADHD Rate In New England? Rhode Island.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is highlighting new data (published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) about reported ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) rates among kids aged 4 - 17.

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The Pulse
4:19 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Task Force Hears Public on Guns, Mental Health

A joint task force is hearing public testimony this afternoon on Rhode Island's compliance - or lack there-of- with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That's one of three national databases gun sellers are supposed to check before they sell you a gun, and it's the one that contains records of involuntary commitment, substance abuse, and other mental health data. The other databases contain criminal records. Rhode Island does not submit mental health records to NICS, and it's trying to figure out whether it can and should.

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The Pulse
1:29 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Are You Changing Health Plans For 2014?

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