Blake Farmer | Nashville Public Radio

Blake Farmer

Senior Health Care Reporter

Blake Farmer is Nashville Public Radio's senior health care reporter. In a partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, Blake covers health in Tennessee and the health care industry in the Nashville area for local and national audiences.

Blake has worked at WPLN throughout his career, most recently serving as news director and primary editor for the newsroom. Previously, his reporting focused on education and the military. He's also enjoyed producing stories about midnight frog gigging and churches holding gun raffles. 

Growing up in East Nashville, Blake attended Lipscomb Academy. He went to college in Texas at Abilene Christian University where he cut his teeth in radio at KACU-FM. Before joining WPLN full time in 2007, Blake also wrote for the Nashville City Paper and filed international stories for World Christian Broadcasting.

An active member and past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists Middle Tennessee Chapter, Blake has also won numerous regional and national awards from the Associated Press, RTDNA and PRNDI. In 2017, his alma mater honored him with the Gutenberg Award for achievements of journalism graduates. 

This may say more than anything: he always keeps his audio recorder handy, even on vacation, just in case there's a story to be told.

Ways to Connect

courtesy Office of Gov. Asa Hutchinson

The Tennessee legislature has designed a budget maneuver to pay for proposed rules around Medicaid. Republican states, including Tennessee, are adding requirements that Medicaid recipients have to work if they can. But enforcement is proving to be costly.

courtesy GoFundMe

The death of a 28-year-old drummer from East Nashville has inspired a fund meant to pay for primary care and diagnostic testing for musicians. Ben Eyestone, who played for Margo Price and Nikki Lane, died from colon cancer last year just days after being diagnosed. He was uninsured but had tried to get a colonoscopy months before.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam is headed into the final months of his time in office, and he’s decided that combating the opioid epidemic will be his last big legislative push. Haslam started the session by endorsing a proposal that would impose stricter rules on prescribing the painkillers. Not until last week did that measure begin moving forward. It was a tougher fight than some expected.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The neonatal intensive care unit at Saint Thomas Midtown is the first in Middle Tennessee to go live with baby webcams, a technological upgrade that hospitals around the country have been installing.

But the video streams are seen as more than a modern convenience.

AMSF2011 via Flickr

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander is putting some election-year pressure on Congress to shore up the individual insurance marketplace. As the head of the Senate's health committee, he promised the bi-partisan legislation as a way to mitigate any damage from canceling the individual mandate to buy insurance.

frankieleon via Flickr

After weeks of backroom talks, Tennessee lawmakers have landed on a compromise that could establish some of the toughest rules on opioid prescribing in the country. Legislators acknowledge they're creating headaches in the process, but they say overdose deaths call for drastic action.

Joe Buglewicz / for WPLN

Nashville health officials are trying to decide whether a steep drop in childhood poverty is something to celebrate. County-by-county data published Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows a much smaller percentage of children in Davidson County are growing up poor.

Metro General Hospital
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Megan Barry's resignation as Nashville's mayor basically ends months of debate about whether to close General Hospital. David Briley pushed back against the mayor's plans, even before he took over her job.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville police will soon have a place to drop people in a mental health crisis who haven't committed a serious crime. Construction begins this week on the city's first jail diversion program for the mentally ill.

Megan Barry
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (file)

Few are openly celebrating the demise of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, who stepped down as part of a plea deal on Tuesday morning. She also pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge related to her two-year affair with the head of her security team.