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

The nation's largest hospital chain may be feeling the waning benefits of the Affordable Care Act, even as it continues to become more profitable. Nashville-based HCA reported higher-than-expected numbers of uninsured patients during the first quarter.

courtesy TDOT

The big rig driver whose truck slammed to a stop after smashing into an overpass on I-40 near the Adventure Science Center has been cited by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Nashville area has its first local data on the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders. And the numbers are slightly lower than the national figure, which jumped up this year.

TN Photo Services (file)

The finer points of a bill to heavily restrict opioid prescribing came down to the final hours of the legislative session, with a hang-up over medical coding nearly killing Gov. Bill Haslam's signature legislation for the year.

courtesy office of Lamar Alexander

Senator Lamar Alexander's bipartisan response to the opioid crisis has unanimously advanced out of the health committee that he chairs.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

An experimental cancer treatment has won a rare endorsement from the Tennessee legislature, even though lawmakers were discouraged from weighing in. The General Assembly is requiring insurance coverage of proton therapy, which benefits one company building a treatment center in Franklin.

Waffle House shooting
Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

In the end, it was a citizen tip that ended Monday’s police manhunt for Travis Reinking.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

As of late Sunday, dozens of police officers are still searching for the gunman who terrorized a Waffle House in Nashville, killing four and wounding two. But everyone involved is praising the bravery of a 29-year-old who wrestled away an AR-15 and kept a mass shooting from becoming a more horrific massacre.

courtesy MNPD

Metro Nashville Police say the suspect in Sunday morning's shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch had his guns confiscated last year after being caught inside a restricted area at the White House.

Travis Reinking, 29, is still at large, and police say he still may have two guns in his possession. Police believe he fled on foot and remains shirtless but is now wearing pants.

David Goehring / via Flickr

Doctors in Tennessee are putting patients on fewer addictive painkillers. An annual survey finds that opioid prescriptions dropped 8.9 percent in Tennessee last year, but the state still stands out for its high rate of prescribing.