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

Sergio Martinez-Beltran / WPLN

The Tennessee House has voted to use additional tax revenue from online shopping to expand Medicaid for a small but desperate group of patients. But the idea still faces some hurdles, including questions from the state Senate.

The House approved a state budget Wednesday that includes $27 million so children with severe disabilities can be covered by the state's Medicaid program, even if their parents make too much money to qualify otherwise.

courtesy TDOH

Even the one case of measles confirmed in East Tennessee last week has triggered a costly emergency response. The state's Department of Health treats every patient like a ticking time bomb.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Nashville's first mass-casualty ambulance is now operational, ahead of what's expected to be the biggest tourist drawn in city history.

Katja Fuhlert / via Pixabay

A single case of measles has Tennessee health officials on their guard. The illness comes amid a national scare related to decreased vaccination rates.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Agents were already in the field making arrests this week as federal prosecutors announced the indictments of 32 medical professionals in Tennessee and 60 across the Appalachian region. They're each accused of opioid-related crimes. And this time, other government workers were also mobilized in response, looking for desperate patients.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

On Wednesday, federal authorities unsealed indictments charging 60 people with crimes related to opioid prescriptions and pain management. And more than half of the people accused by the U.S. Justice Department worked in Tennessee.

Blake Farmer / WPLN (File photo)

Gov. Bill Lee is seeking nearly $25 million to treat hepatitis C in prisons over the next year. The contagious liver disease can be serious and spreads through contact with the blood of an infected person.

J.Barande / École polytechnique via Flickr

The health care industry is again the top target for cyberattacks. An annual survey finds that hospitals and health systems represented one quarter of U.S. data breaches in 2018.

The new anti-abortion tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court has inspired some states to further restrict the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy and move to outlaw abortion entirely if Roe v. Wade ever falls. But the rush to regulate has exposed division among groups and lawmakers who consider themselves staunch abortion opponents.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Tennessee's rural hospitals are contemplating a new way to get paid in an effort to stave off their demise. Until now, there have been few solutions put forward — other than having the state expand TennCare to include the working poor, which is unlikely. The latest idea asks insurance companies to prop up rural hospitals, even as they treat fewer patients.