Jason deBruyn

Data Reporter

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.

In the role, Jason investigates story lines hidden in data to uncover untold issues that matter to North Carolinians. He is passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless and using data to shine a light on disenfranchised groups who have been taken advantage of.

Prior to joining WUNC, Jason covered the business of health care and pharmaceuticals for Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, an affiliate of the American City Business Journals network. His reporting roots trace to the Enquirer-Journal, a community newspaper in Monroe, North Carolina.

2019 Health Outcomes Ranking.
Robert Wood Johnsong Foundation / University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute

A lack of affordable housing drives down health and keeps North Carolinians in poverty, according to the latest annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The leaky pipeline report
Carolina Demography / John M. Belk Endowment

North Carolina's public education institutions must improve the pipeline from ninth grade through postsecondary graduation to meet future workforce needs. That's according to a new report from Carolina Demography and the John M. Belk Endowment.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services headquarters at Dorothea Dix in Raleigh.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The consortium of hospitals that was denied a contract to manage Medicaid beneficiaries has appealed its rejection. The appeal will be considered by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen.

Fuqua School of Business Daytime MBA program certificate ceremony
Duke Photography

The total cost to attend Duke University will increase 3.7 percent to more than $73,500.

Inside the Cary Performance Bicycle store in January.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

After a bumpy bankruptcy process, the parent company of Chapel Hill-based Performance Bicycle found a buyer. But the new owner will close all of the stores, resulting in close to 2,000 layoffs across the country.

Washington Duke statue on East campus with Tulips, springtime
Bill Snead / c/o Duke University

A solid stock market and donations helped push university endowments to new heights last year.

Roan Fields-Moffitt, left, walks with his mother, Desiree Moffitt, second from left, and father, Jacob Fields, right, as he pushes the family's baby twin daughters through a wooded area adjacent to Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Roan Fields-Moffitt likes to explore wooded areas. On a damp and cloudy early afternoon in January, he rustled through leaves, climbed over fallen trees and threw sticks in a stream. His dad, Jacob Fields, and mom, Desiree Moffitt, walked with him and took turns pushing Roan's 16-month-old twin sisters in a stroller.

Carolina fans in the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. wait to watch the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the NCAA Championship on April 3, 2017. North Carolina would go on to win the game 71 to 65.
Matt Couch / WUNC

The Rams Club wants to sell $98 million in new tax-free bonds, but the UNC Chapel Hill athletics booster club needs approval from the North Carolina Treasurer's office first, and that's not a slam dunk.

Workplace deaths in North Carolina
Bureau of Labor Statistics / Jason deBruyn

One worker was killed and two more were injured at a Raleigh construction site Tuesday morning.

A wall collapsed near Triangle Town Center shopping mall in north Raleigh, burying three workers. Co-workers were able to dig out two of the workers to save their lives. Authorities have not released the identities of any of the victims.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul demonstrating how police use a naloxone injectable kit to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

North Carolina emergency departments saw 5,343 opioid overdose related visits in 2018. That's down eight percent from the high of 2017, but still well above any other year in recent history.

The data show that although programs to tackle the opioid crisis show early signs of paying off, the state still has a long way to go before the epidemic is in the rearview mirror.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina headquarters in Durham.
BCBSNC

It's become cliché for executives of health systems and insurers to talk about the need to move away from a fee-for-service reimbursement model toward one that pays for value and rewards health providers for keeping patients healthy, not for simply treating them when they are sick.

Bicycle on American Tobacco Trail greenway, bike path,
Laura Candler

Any cyclist, especially in the Triangle, knows Performance Bicycle. The Chapel Hill-based company was geared toward the riders who weren't too serious, but didn't want to shop at a big box store or online.

Meredith Pounds with her colleague Lamin Sanneh on the fourth floor of UNC Rex Hospital
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The ripping sound of Velcro snapped through a patient room as Meredith Pounds prepped to wrap a blood pressure meter around someone's arm. Bearings squeeked as she wheeled over a Pulse Oximeter and snapped it on a finger.

Pounds works as a nursing assistant on the fourth floor of UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh. As part of her duties, she checks patient vital signs.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health
Gillings School of Global Public Health / UNC

It's part of the zeitgeist to joke that Americans aren't healthy. But new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health puts an exclamation point on just how true that is.

Curtis J. Richardson, director of the Duke University Wetland Center.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

On Duke University's campus, near the Washington Duke Inn, there's a wetland area that reduces stormwater flooding and improves water quality. Curtis J. Richardson, director of the Duke University Wetland Center and professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment, spearheaded the project.

Martini glasses
Ashok Boghani / Flickr

About one-third of Americans don't drink alcohol. About another third drinks fewer than one alcoholic drink per week.

An air ambulance lands on the helipad at UNC Hospitals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dan Sears / UNC

UNC Health Care reached a management agreement with Onslow Memorial Hospital, making the coastal North Carolina health center the 11th UNC affiliated hospital.

Protesters crowd around the entrance of the UNC Center for Leadership Development where the Board of Governors will meet this morning to discuss the fate of a controversial Confederate monument known as Silent Sam.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated 3:20 p.m.

The board overseeing North Carolina's public universities has rejected the UNC Trustees' plan for a center to house a Confederate statue known as Silent Sam on the Chapel Hill campus.

Open sign
Martin Alvarez Espinar / Flickr

To hear chief finance officers tell it, the global economy is heading toward a recession.

That's the top takeaway from the latest CFO Survey, a quarterly survey conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

A sample of the ballot envelope, with spaces for two witness signatures.
N.C. State Board of Elections

In Bladen County, where elections officials are investigating potential elections tampering, a small group of 12 people attested as official witnesses for 294 mail-in ballots, or nearly 40 percent of mail-in ballots from Bladen County.

What's more, the same group accounted for both of the required signatures for 151 of those ballots, according to a WUNC analysis of 796 mail-in-ballot envelopes from Bladen County.

Rep. Ted Budd, R-NC, right, points to Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, left, during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.
Chuck Burton / AP

One man – McCrae Dowless – filed in-person requests for 592 absentee ballots at the Bladen County Board of Elections in the month's leading up to this year's midterm election.

Specialty license plates are becoming more common in North Carolina.
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles / N.C. Department of Transportation

In 2015, after a young white man who had claimed allegiance to the Confederacy massacred nine people at a historic black church, the availability of a North Carolina specialty license plate bearing the logo of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans was in jeopardy. With some drivers in North Carolina thinking the specialty plate might not be available soon, demand for that plate, which includes the Confederate battle flag, soared.

Ariel view of the UNC Rex Healthcare campus in west Raleigh
UNC Rex Healthcare

UNC Rex Healthcare announced a plan to build a $65 million cancer center at its west Raleigh campus. The new center will ratchet up competition with Duke Raleigh Hospital – which already has two cancer centers, including one in the shadow of Rex's campus – and sets up the UNC Health Care system hospital to pad its bid for a new piece of expensive medical equipment in 2019.

Iris Schaen, center, holds a sign as she listens to speakers during an interfaith vigil against anti-semitism and hate at the Holocaust Memorial, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in Miami Beach.
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Hate crimes across North Carolina have been increasing in recent years.

From 2016 to 2017, the number of hate crimes committed in the state jumped 12 percent to 166.

Michelle Williams, left, holding a picture of her sister Tracy, standing with Monica McInnis.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

July 26, 2015, is a date etched in Michelle Williams' memory forever. That's the day her sister Tracy was murdered.

"Every time I tell that, I have to say the whole thing. In my head it's a news broadcast," she said. "Tracy Williams murdered by her ex-partner. At a Franklin County Food Lion parking lot. On July 26, 2015."

Duke University Hospital, which is part of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham
Emery P. Dalesio / AP

Duke University has reached a settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging it knew about fraudulent research in its labs and actively concealed the fraud from federal agencies responsible for doling out research funding.

The university received more than $200 million in research funding based on this fraudulent research.

A sample ballot for the 2018 midterm elections
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Voter turnout in North Carolina was exceptionally high in 2018, but some races drew more attention than others.

The gerrymandered North Carolina Congressional district map
North Carolina General Assembly

North Carolina Republicans won majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. But Democrats won more total votes.

John Hendren lives in south Lumberton.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Dan Weathington carried sopping insulation to the end of his driveway one day last month. Sludgy water dripped out as he squeezed a handful of the pink material.

Weathington lives in the Tanglewood area of north Lumberton. Many of the houses are brick and some are almost a century old. The neighborhood is a perfect grid of north-south and east-west roads, made possible because of the low-lying and flat topography. Floodwaters from Hurricane Florence inundated this part of town in September.

An early voting location in Wake County
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Control of the North Carolina legislature will depend on suburban voters.

When it comes to campaign spending at the North Carolina House and Senate levels, both parties have poured the most money into suburban districts, many of which are considered toss-ups by political pundits.

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