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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Blake Farmer / WPLN

Saint Thomas officials started construction this week on a 76-bed psychiatric hospital, which is their first in Nashville.

It's a rare partnership with a for-profit operator to run the facility — Acadia Healthcare — but they say patients will barely notice the difference.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Young people in Nashville who are considered homeless can now get help paying rent for a couple of years. The city has decided to use a federal grant for rental assistance, rather than building new affordable housing.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

State Senator Shane Reeves of Murfreesboro says he wasn’t surprised to see his pharmacy as the top recipient of opioids in Tennessee — more than double the next highest pharmacy in the state according to a Washington Post database.

Over a six year period, more than 45 million pain pills passed through what is now named Twelve Stone Health Partners. But Reeves also rejects that his business contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

A physician assistant from Crossville has purchased the shuttered Cumberland River Hospital in Celina and has expressed interest in buying other struggling facilities on the Cumberland Plateau. The community is relieved, even though the hospital is far from reopening.

courtesy CHS via Facebook

Community Health Systems, a major employer in Nashville, says it’s turning things around. And executives point to their performance in the latest quarter's results, released on Tuesday.

courtesy Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital Vanderbilt

Electronic medical records are starting to talk back to doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The hospital is test-piloting a system where computers can analyze patient health data and spit out a brief summary.

courtesy TNECD

Community Health Systems has a chance to renew confidence among investors Tuesday as it reports quarterly earnings. But analysts are increasingly bracing for a failure of the Franklin-based hospital chain, one of the region's big employers.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

No kids want to go to summer camp with a cast on their arm — especially their dominant hand. No swimming. No running. And so much itching.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The largest hospital company in the country says it welcomes more transparency about what it charges for many procedures. Nashville-based HCA is also interested to see the prices charged by its competition.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

The overdose crisis shows little sign of abating in Nashville. The fire department says it has administered the overdose reversal drug Narcan to 1,036 patients already this year, a 23% increase over the same point in 2018.