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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Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti / U.S. Army

A contract stalemate between Tennessee's largest health insurer and anesthesiologists in Nashville could start causing headaches for patients at the end of the month. The standoff reveals the local effects of physician consolidation.

TN Photo Services

The scheduled execution of Billy Ray Irick Thursday night will be the first during the tenure of outgoing Governor Bill Haslam, who has decided not to intervene in the case.

Sharyn Morrow via Flickr

Tennessee doctors are beginning to see the annual back-to-school wave of kids needing booster shots — and it's usually seventh graders who need some extra prodding to get the required shots in Nashville schools.

Lance Cheung / USDA

Tennessee's pain doctors are being inundated with calls from patients needing a specialist to prescribe opioids. The combined impact of a new state law and closure of a dozen pain clinics has created a pinch for pain patients.

Meribah Knight / WPLN

Williamson County businessman Bill Lee was the surprise winner of the Republican primary for governor Thursday night.

The Christian conservative and owner of the Lee Co. beat out former Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, Congressman Diane Black and House Speaker Beth Harwell.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A national ban on smoking in public housing is in effect as of Tuesday, but not in Nashville. The local housing authority says it has decided not to enforce the new rules, even though many residents have been under the impression the blanket ban applies to them.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

African-American men have long distrusted the health care system, and it shows in how slow they are to go to the doctor. A new grant to a team of Nashville researchers will establish a way to measure that trust and whether it's improving.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Metro Police say that officers "rendered aid" to Daniel Hambrick after he was fatally shot last week. But a spokesman says police did not provide any medical help themselves.

Steve Green / Vanderbilt University

All of the major institutions that train doctors and other health professionals in Tennessee have agreed to begin teaching new best-practices on opioid prescribing. The state has asked schools to begin implementation this fall and fully adopt the 12 "core competencies" next year.

TN Photo Services

Tennessee students preparing for jobs in which they'll prescribe medication may start spending much more time focused on the perils of addictive painkillers. A commission representing schools around the state has come up with 12 key points that need to be covered before graduation.