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 NPS via Twitter

Tennessee Parks want doctors to start writing prescriptions for time outdoors. And state parks are now building an app that could eventually integrate with patient records.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Cancer treatment has never been cheap. But in the pricey world of pharmaceuticals, the cost of oncology drugs has become jaw-dropping. And where there are big dollars, there is a battle between business interests, which is why cancer doctors are declaring war against pharmacy benefit managers.

courtesy Tennessee Department of Health

Tennessee's health department is trying to humanize the opioid crisis. A public awareness campaign funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services launches Tuesday.

TN Photo Services

It may be many months before 3,000 more Tennessee children with severe disabilities get state-funded health coverage. The program, known as the Katie Beckett waiver, allows middle- and upper-income families to qualify for TennCare.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Two men have been charged with second-degree murder for dealing heroin laced with fentanyl. They're accused of killing a 30-year-old from Murfreesboro as Tennessee law enforcement is increasingly turning to homicide charges stemming from overdose deaths.

TN Photo Services

A group of Tennessee ministers is asking Gov. Bill Lee to back out of a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday after a Texas judge sided with conservative states trying to abolish Obamacare.

courtesy Marshfield Clinic Heath System / Contessa

Saint Thomas Health is going to start treating more patients in their own homes this fall. The Middle Tennessee hospital system is launching a joint venture with a Nashville-based startup that may be a model for other markets.

courtesy UCF via Flickr

HCA is welcoming its largest class of residents and fellows, with nearly 1,500 new doctors working in sites around the country. The for-profit hospital chain has quietly become the nation's biggest sponsor of graduate medical education.

holmes.josh / via Creative Commons

A proposal from Sen. Lamar Alexander to end surprise medical bills could advance to the full Senate this week. The bipartisan legislation was shaped by many individual stories, including a mountain biking accident in Tennessee.

courtesy VA via flickr

The VA is allowing more patients to be treated outside the government system, in part to appeal to veterans from modern wars. It's part of an attempt to reach young veterans who've been reluctant to link up with the giant agency that oversees veteran benefits.