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.

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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.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Suicides have been surging in Tennessee, and state health officials don’t know why — in part — because they haven't been studying them closely. The legislature is considering a proposal to review each suicide, case by case.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The push to require Medicaid recipients to get jobs has at least some support from everyone running to be Tennessee governor — even the Democrats.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been desperate to cut down on the use of powerful pills. So the mammoth agency has taken a sharp turn toward alternative medicine. The thinking goes that even if it doesn’t cure a mental or physical ill, it can't hurt.

Jed Dekalb / courtesy UT System

The University of Tennessee is making opioid research and awareness a system-wide priority. The commitment came during the annual "state of UT" address this week.

counselman collection / via Flickr

For decades, emergency physicians and intensive care doctors instinctively have been reaching for saline when they order intravenous fluids for a patient. Now a pair of two-year studies conducted at Vanderbilt Medical Center finds a slight but meaningful benefit to an alternative fluid. So the hospital is making a wholesale change and encouraging other hospitals to follow suit.

Stephen Jerkins / WPLN

Tennessee has joined 20 Republican-led states in asking the courts to overturn the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit filed in Texas on Monday contends that without the individual mandate, Obamacare is unconstitutional.

courtesy UMMC

Vanderbilt Medical Center has entered a rare relationship with another university hospital. The University of Mississippi Medical Center is the only academic medical center in Mississippi. It's a first for both schools, even though the campuses have not spelled out all the ways they plan to join forces.

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