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

opiateaddictiontreatment / via Flickr

Purdue Pharma's sales reps in Tennessee were pushing OxyContin even harder as the high-powered opioid came under more legal scrutiny in recent years. That's among hundreds of claims made by the Tennessee Attorney General in a lawsuit filed in May and made public Thursday.

iStock / via KHN

The tide may be starting to turn on the number of drug-dependent babies in Tennessee. After an alarming 5-year rise, the number of infants going through withdrawals from opioids is down by more than a quarter from the same point last year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Even asking how best to wean drug abusers off opioids can raise hackles. Addiction specialists have straddled a philosophical divide over the use of pharmaceuticals in the process. But the side advocating against medication assisted treatment is shrinking in Tennessee and nationwide.

Steven Van / via Flickr

Cherry bombs, bottle rockets and Roman candles may be more powerful, but they don't cause the most emergency room visits around the July 4 holiday. New data show the largest number of injuries come from what are often thought of as a safer firework alternative.

YouTube

Voting in Tennessee’s statewide primaries starts in less than two weeks, and that means the race is impossible to avoid without turning off the television. 

The ads may be short, but they’re where candidates spend most of their money and give insight into campaign strategy.

In the latest edition of The Tri-Star State, Nashville Public Radio's Blake Farmer and Chas Sisk talk about that ad blitz.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Overdose deaths among African-Americans in Tennessee have roughly doubled since 2012. Fatalities from opioids are still growing among whites in the state, but deaths among blacks are surging twice as fast.

courtesy Neighborhood Health / via Facebook

A drug that has been increasingly abused by opioid users is becoming harder to access in Tennessee, designated as a controlled substance starting July 1.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville's in-school clinics for teachers and their families are successfully reducing health care costs. According to a new study led by the nonprofit RAND Corporation, primary care delivered within Metro Schools saves more than $700 a year for every teacher who uses it.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Health workers in Nashville have turned their focus to homeless people amid a growing outbreak of hepatitis A and some of the first diagnosed cases among people living on the streets. They're finding it takes some convincing to get many to agree to a vaccination.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN (File photo)

Only one Republican running to be Tennessee's next governor is open to the idea of allowing sports betting.

The question came up during a GOP debate in Hendersonville on Wednesday night. A recent federal court ruling paves the way for states to legalize gambling on college and professional games.

Pages