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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John Ingram Martha Ingram
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN (File photo)

The Metro Council advanced the ordinances required to build a new stadium for a Major League Soccer team Tuesday night and abandoned efforts to put the project up for a vote as a ballot initiative.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Dozens of zebra finches are learning to sing inside makeshift recording booths in a Vanderbilt lab. Adult and baby birds are paired up to live together, and some have more difficult living conditions than others. The idea is to study how struggling for survival can impair the learning process and how to get around it.

Courtesy of Debbie Martens

Last year set another record for overdose deaths in Tennessee. The state's health department released the latest figures Monday that showed 1,776 fatal overdoses in 2017.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A small slice of the money Tennessee dedicated to the opioid crisis this year is going to a social network developed by a Nashville startup. It's an app designed for people in recovery.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A clinic in North Nashville has expanded its dental department in response to a growing need among people who lack insurance coverage. The manpower and money come from new partners who also see a glaring problem.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The Davidson County Sheriff has started construction on a facility that will force the local criminal justice system to change how it treats people with a mental illness.

But at its official groundbreaking this week, the sheriff admitted he still has some convincing to do.

Phil Roeder / via Flickr

State lawmakers are reviewing exemptions to Tennessee's Public Records Act for the first time in 30 years. Since the report from 1988, the number of loopholes has grown more than sixfold.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Southern doctors seem to be overlooking a key genetic test for underserved patients with breast and ovarian cancer. A new study published by a Vanderbilt researcher finds very few women get this recommended blood screening, even though they have insurance coverage through Medicare.

courtesy Cohen Clinic

A military-focused mental health clinic in Clarksville has been so in demand during its first three months that it's on track to becoming the busiest for a new nonprofit. Cohen Veterans Network has been starting sites around the country focused on post-9/11 veterans.

Rates for individual health insurance plans in Tennessee will drop even more than expected next year, after the Trump Administration reversed plans for cutting payments to insurance companies.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, for example, will have average rates that are nearly 15 percent less than this year.

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