Robert Benincasa is a computer-assisted reporting producer in NPR's Investigations Unit.
Since joining NPR in 2008, Benincasa has been reporting on NPR Investigations stories, analyzing data for investigations, and developing data visualizations and interactive applications for NPR.org. He has worked on numerous groundbreaking stories, including data-driven investigations of the inequities of federal disaster aid and coal miners' exposures to deadly silica dust.
Prior to NPR, Benincasa served as the database editor for the Gannett News Service Washington Bureau for a decade.
Benincasa's work at NPR has been recognized by many of journalism's top honors. In 2014, he was part of a team that won an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award, and he shared Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards with Investigations Unit colleagues in 2016 and 2011.
Also in 2011, he received numerous accolades for his contributions to several investigative stories, including an Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, an Investigative Reporters & Editors Radio Award, the White House News Photographers Association's Eyes of History Award for multimedia innovation, and George Polk and George Foster Peabody awards.
Benincasa served on the faculty of Georgetown University's Master of Professional Studies program in journalism from 2008 to 2016.
The staff's goal was to reduce the prescription of antipsychotic drugs by 20 percent. In the first year, they cut use by 97 percent. How? By addressing the real reasons for agitation and aggression.
An NPR probe finds many nursing homes are still prescribing schizophrenia drugs to calm dementia patients — despite FDA warnings — but only 2 percent of excessive-medication cases result in penalties.
Way too many residents of U.S. nursing homes are on antipsychotic drugs, critics say. It's often just for the convenience of the staff, to sedate patients agitated by dementia. That's illegal.
A plant in Tonawanda heats coal into material for the iron and steel industries, releasing toxic chemicals into the air. Residents have long blamed the pollution for several health problems.