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 Barbershop Harmony Society

The Barbershop Harmony Society is inviting women to be full members of the organization for the first time, effective immediately. The Nashville-based umbrella group says the decision is part of a "new strategic vision" meant to be more inclusive and welcome people of all races, sexual orientations, political opinions and spiritual beliefs.

Leon Brocard / via Flickr

No one's sure exactly why Tennessee's rate of teen pregnancy took a nosedive in the most recent figures, but their best guess: more kids are abstaining from sex. Tennessee's teen pregnancy rate has dropped for the last two decades as the national figure has also declined.

Lee Coursey / via Flickr

Tennessee's agency that administers food stamps and cash assistance programs says it has fundamentally altered its approach: designing programs to benefit entire households, rather than choosing between children and their parents.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Nashville Hospital Authority gave their CEO a favorable performance review Monday night — while apologizing for it being his first evaluation since being hired in 2015. The board also decided to keep him on for three more years, and to give him raises, though not starting until next year, citing the city's current budget crunch.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A nursing home chain with more than two dozen facilities in Tennessee has settled a $230 million Medicare fraud case. 

The government's investigation launched in 2014 when two whistleblowers started collecting evidence on their own.

Brian Todd / Metro Public Health

Nashville's newest display of public art could easily be overlooked: an antique crib and highchair, littered with baby bottles. It's in the lobby of the Lentz Public Health Center, and the artwork speaks to the ways racism has harmed public health.

courtesy Pexels

Tennessee doctors are getting a crash course in the state's new restrictions on opioids ahead of the law taking effect July 1. Physicians are concerned about new liability since the prescribing rules do away with much of their discretion.

courtesy Patrick Whelan

Bonnaroo is not the ideal setting for someone in recovery from addiction. Every year, there are dozens of drug arrests, sometimes big ones, and alcohol-related illnesses or even hospitalizations. But hundreds of sober concert-goers now gather each year to enjoy the music substance-free.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The board that oversees Nashville General Hospital is in turmoil. A fourth board member has resigned in a matter of months.

Michele Williams stepped down this week, expressing disapproval with the rushed contract extension for the CEO last week.

Lauren Bishop / CDC

After months of resisting pressure from doctors, Tennessee's Medicaid program is slowing down an initiative meant to make physicians more cost conscious. They've complained about the so-called "episodes of care" payment model since its inception, though doctors initially cooperated with state officials in designing the program.

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