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 TDOC

Updated 10:30 p.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a challenge of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol and lifted a stay of execution ordered by a lower court because of inadequate counsel. The move clears the way for the execution of Edmund Zagorski, who was scheduled to die Thursday night.

Tennessee Supreme Court building
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Updated 5:30 p.m. This post will be updated as news breaks.
 

A federal appeals court has intervened in the execution of Tennessee death row inmate Edmund Zagorski. The Sixth Circuit has issued a stay, which could delay the execution scheduled for Thursday night.

Tom Menzies / via Flickr

Since 1960, Tennessee has put to death only one person by electrocution. And now a prisoner who is scheduled to die Thursday has opted for the electric chair.

courtesy SPLC

Litigation challenging delays in TennCare coverage for people who qualify finally goes to trial this week, four years after a class action lawsuit was filed. TennCare argues the problems are sufficiently resolved, while the Southern Poverty Law Center presses for a more effective fix.

Tennessee Supreme Court
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Updated 10:30 p.m.

 

Attorneys for Edmund Zagorski say he'd rather be put to death by the electric chair than Tennessee's current method of lethal injection. The convicted murderer is scheduled for execution Thursday night.

Julieta Martinelli / WPLN

With days until his scheduled execution, two jurors who condemned Edmund Zagorski to death say the convicted murderer's life should be spared.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

In an operating room, there's the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, a surgical tech and a scrub nurse. And in many procedures that involve an implanted medical device, there's often someone else standing quietly along the back wall — a sales representative working on commission for the maker of artificial joints or bone screws.

With the exponential growth of procedures like total hip and knee replacements, their presence is under new scrutiny.

Bill Lee for Tennessee/Karl Dean for Governor

Democrat Karl Dean is banking on Medicaid expansion as his winning issue in Tennessee's race for governor, while Republican Bill Lee claims the plan would be detrimental. The opposing views represent the sharpest divide between the candidates.

courtesy First Line Technology

A federal grant will pay to retrofit an old school bus for use in a natural disaster or other catastrophe. The Metro Council officially accepted the $84,000 this week.

courtesy Google Street View

A disproportionate share of the rural hospitals that have closed in the last five years were owned by for-profit companies, including some based in Nashville, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

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