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

Blake Farmer / WPLN

As the numbers afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease continue to swell, so do the legions of loved ones caring for friends and family members. And the health of those caretakers has become a focus in the Alzheimer’s community since there’s no cure on the horizon for debilitating memory loss. Even loved ones leaning on professional help still need support to endure what’s been dubbed "the long goodbye."

Metro General Hospital
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

The failed attempt by former Mayor Megan Barry to downsize Nashville General Hospital has meant no candidate for the city's top job is following her lead. Even the conservatives in the race say it's not a matter of whether to keep General Hospital, but how.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

No hospital in Middle Tennessee is impressing patients enough to earn a five-star rating from the government, new survey data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows.

mosaic36 / via Flickr

A Vanderbilt researcher says the country needs more counselors in schools to respond to a staggering rise in suicidal teens.

Pediatrician Greg Plemmons' study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that more than twice the number of school-age children are being hospitalized for suicide attempts or thoughts, compared to a decade ago. The heaviest periods, he finds, are during the school year.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The VA hospitals in the Nashville area are trying to attract young veterans transitioning out of the military. This spring, they've scheduled interest meetings every two weeks as part of a broader suicide prevention effort by President Trump. The problem is, no one is showing up.

neonatal abstinence syndrome Tennessee
Tennessee Department of Health

Tennessee hospitals may be too quick to send home babies born dependent on opioids. New research from Vanderbilt finds babies that are discharged early to finish weaning at home end up in treatment three times as long and are more likely to make a trip to the emergency room.

courtesy CIDRZ

Nashville's Meharry Medical College is working out the details of its first international partnership, and the historically black institution plans to focus on health challenges the U.S. shares with the southern African nation of Zambia. 

Decatur County General's Facebook page

Governor Bill Haslam is funding a $1 million project to help rural hospitals on the brink of closure. But advocates say that doesn't mean all of those hospitals can or should be saved.

Jamey Campbell / submitted

A handful of youth sports leagues in Tennessee are raising their safety procedures to achieve a new state certification. The endorsement is akin to the state's rating system for pre-schools. And health officials hope that it becomes something embraced statewide. The NFL's top doctor has even pledged to help spread the program across the country.

Paul Evans / via Flickr

Nashville health care companies with a major presence in the U.K. helped lobby for the new direct flight to London that starts Friday. But it may be firms with operations in India that have the most to gain.