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 music, cooking, and spending time with her family.

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The Pulse
4:12 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Thoughts On A New Bill To Expand Addiction Treatment

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), has introduced legislation that's designed to provide some incentives and resources for states to develop more addiction treatment and prevention programs. It's called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2014, and here are a few of its provisions, according to a news release from the Senator's office:

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Health Care
2:16 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

More Hospitals To Distribute Overdose Rescue Kits

Narcan, or naloxone, comes in an easy-to-use nasal spray.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island, the Miriam, and Newport Hospitals will be handing out overdose prevention kits to patients at risk. The kits are just one piece of a larger program designed to combat opioid overdose deaths.

The hospitals will distribute overdose kits to patients who have been brought to their emergency rooms because of an overdose. That kit will include Narcan – a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose – in the form of a nasal spray.

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Health Care
6:12 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Annual Rally Fights Addiction Stigma

The Rally 4 Recovery banner hangs on City Hall in Providence.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s annual Rally for Recovery takes place Saturday afternoon at Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence.

This year marks Rhode Island’s 11th annual Rally for Recovery. If last year’s event is any indication, thousands of attendees are expected for an afternoon of live music, speakers, and a candlelight processional toward the statehouse. The rally highlights the stories of people in recovery from the disease of addiction and remembers those who have died from the disease.

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The Pulse
3:05 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

RI Medicaid Issues New Hepatitis C Drug Policy

This pill can cost as much as $1000. Each.
Credit Gilead

Rhode Island’s Medicaid program has quietly posted its first guidelines for approving coverage of a new drug for chronic hepatitis C.

If you are enrolled in Medicaid, have hepatitis C, and you’ve been waiting for these new drugs, you might be jumping for joy.

If you’re not, you might be asking, ‘huh?’ or ‘who cares?’

Here’s what this means and why it matters – whether you have hepatitis C or not.

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The Pulse
1:09 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

On The Health Care Agenda For RI's Next Governor

Rhode Island's next governor - whether it's Republican Allan Fung or Democrat Gina Raimondo - will have plenty of challenges to tackle upon taking office. The state's ailing economy will most likely hold the spotlight over the next eight weeks until the general election. But perhaps I could put a few health care items on the agenda for their consideration - and for the general assembly's.

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Health Care
3:01 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Providence VA Holds Town Hall As Agency Tries To Rebuild Trust Nationwide

Credit Providence VA Medical Center

Tonight, the VA hospital in Providence will hold a town hall meeting for veterans, their family, and the public. VAs around the country were directed to hold such public meetings by the end of this month. The aim: to regain trust after a widespread scheduling scandal.

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The Pulse
12:02 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Back To School, For Your Health

It's back to school time for kids, of course (and teachers). But perhaps it's time to head back into the classroom or lecture hall yourself.

Need a refresher course in keeping healthy? Strategies for coping with chronic disease? Or perhaps you'd like to learn more about the vaccinations you need, or how to be a brand new parent. Whatever your curiosity or particular health challenge, there's probably a class, lecture, or program out there to help you.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

CVS Caremark Is Now CVS Health; All Stores Tobacco-Free A Month Early

CVS headquarters
Credit Courtesy CVS

Pharmacy corporation CVS Caremark has officially changed its name to CVS Health.

The Woonsocket-based company announced the name change as a way to reflect its growth beyond a retail pharmacy chain into a multi-service health care company. Today, the $127-billion dollar CVS Health encompasses 7700 retail pharmacies, hundreds of walk-in medical clinics, a pharmacy benefits manager and more. CVS Health president Helena Foulkes says it made sense to re-brand now.

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The Pulse
2:03 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Health Care: Still One Of Most Dangerous Workplaces

Nurses at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, RI demonstrate using a lift to move an obese patient. In this photo, the patient is another nurse, wearing a suit made by puppet maker Big Nazo to simulate obesity for a training exercise.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

In honor of Labor Day, I decided to check the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on workplace injuries. What are the most dangerous industries in Rhode Island?

Health care, beat only by trucking, being a messenger/courier, or working in some retail outlets. Surprised?

Health care includes nursing homes, which seem to have some of the highest number of work days missed because of injury. That's partly because of all the heavy lifting.

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The Pulse
12:16 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Painkiller Rxs Rising, But So Are Deaths From Heroin

Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

The state health department has just published some striking data on numbers of prescription painkillers, stimulants, and other controlled substances prescribed in Rhode Island over a 10 year period.

In January 2014, according to the health department, 1.8 million doses for painkillers were filled in Rhode Island. The numbers have been on a steady incline for 10 years. Check out the red line, below.

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