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

Mayor Megan Barry sent a two-page letter to the Metro Council Thursday saying she plans to take until the end of the year to come up with a new model for Nashville General Hospital. She also apologized for publicly announcing her plans to wind down inpatient care after years of failed attempts at financial sustainability.

courtesy TNECD

The biggest investor in a Franklin-based hospital chain is giving a much-needed vote of confidence in a company thought to be on the verge of collapse.

Amtec Staffing / amtec.us.com

Leaders of the Tennessee General Assembly are jumping at the chance to add a work requirement for TennCare. A new policy from the Trump Administration allows Medicaid programs in each state to pursue new restrictions.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Veterans in the military town of Clarksville cheered Wednesday as officials opened a long-awaited VA clinic with twice the capacity of the existing facility, which had gotten so overcrowded that — at one point — it could no longer take new patients. And perhaps no one is as excited as George O'Connor.

Metro General Hospital photo
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

One of the Metro Council's most conservative members has joined the effort to keep Nashville General Hospital open, even if it means spending more money. Councilman Steve Glover is proposing a ban on closure of the city's safety-net facility.

Sharyn Morrow via Flickr

Medication used to treat opioid addiction has now been blamed as a factor in dozens of overdose deaths in Tennessee. According to data released by the state health department, toxicology reports found buprenorphine played a role in 67 of the 1,600 overdose deaths in 2016.

courtesy Decatur County General Hospital / via Facebook

Tennessee's reluctance to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act is still being blamed for the high number of hospital closures in the state — the most in the U.S. outside of Texas. And this week brings one more. The Decatur County Commission decided to close its only hospital this week, citing the increased taxpayer subsidies.

Clause Rebler / via Flickr

The cold may not be sending many people to the hospital for prolonged exposure, but the extended sub-freezing temperatures are promoting an especially intense flu season.

Artur Bergman / via Flickr

The big hospital chains based in Nashville are accepting some of the blame for the country's opioid crisis, which grows more deadly by the year. They admit they were going overboard with opioids to make people as pain-free as possible. So in an effort to be part of the cure, they're issuing an uncomfortable warning to patients — you're going to feel some pain.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville — like most locales — is losing its accents. Distinctive voices are diffusing in a modern world with mass media and transient lifestyles. But one 93-year-old is keeping the sound of old Nashville alive.

Pages