Blake Farmer

reporter for WPLN, Nashville

Blake Farmer appears in the following:

Worn-out nurses hit the road for better pay, stressing hospital budgets — and morale

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

In areas overwhelmed by COVID cases, hospitals must rely on traveling nurses to operate ICUs. Hospitals pay a premium for that temporary help, while also struggling to keep their staff nurses happy.


More nurses are quitting their jobs to try a lucrative stint as a traveling nurse

Monday, October 18, 2021

In many hospitals, the only thing keeping ICUs fully staffed is a rotating cast of traveling nurses. Hospitals are having to pay them so much that their staff nurses are tempted to hit the road too.


A Hispanic church in Tennessee is grieving the loss of its charismatic founder

Friday, October 08, 2021

German Castro died last month at the age of 57 — part of an avoidable surge of COVID-19 deaths across the South where vaccination rates lag.


Across The COVID-Ravaged South, High-Level Life Support Is Difficult To Find

Monday, September 06, 2021

ECMO, the highest level of mechanical life support, functions as a temporary heart and lungs for some of COVID-19's sickest patients. But the waitlist is too long for many patients who need it.


COVID-19 Surge Overwhelms Large Medical Centers In Southern States

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Hospitals across the South are warning of a catastrophe if a surge of COVID-19 cases doesn't subside. Medical centers are maxed out. But space isn't the biggest problem — it's staffing.


A Health Care Giant Sold Off Dozens Of Hospitals — But Continued Suing Many Patients

Monday, July 26, 2021

As Community Health Systems has downsized, what remain are like zombie hospitals – little more than legal entities still taking patients to court even though the new owners don't sue.


Experts Fear Partisan Disputes Over Vaccination In Tennessee Will Drive Skeptics Away

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Republican legislators in Tennessee pushed to limit marketing COVID-19 vaccines to youth, and to restrict access. Some doctors worry it will have a chilling effect on vaccinations.


As COVID Vaccinations Slow, Parts Of The U.S. Remain Far Behind 70% Goal

Monday, July 05, 2021

Vermont and Massachusetts lead the nation, with more than 70% of adults having had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Southern states like Tennessee lag far behind.


The Vaccination Rate Against COVID-19 Varies From State To State

Monday, July 05, 2021

The nation as a whole fell short of President Biden's July Fourth vaccine goal — giving at least one shot to 70 percent of adults. Some states exceeded expectations, and others didn't come close.


Southern Baptist Leaders Meet To Reckon With Issues Like Sexual Abuse In The Church

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Southern Baptists are meeting in Nashville for their annual gathering. A contentious year, they're addressing the denomination's response to sexual abuse in the church and broader cultural issues.


Why Are Southern States Lagging In Vaccinations?

Monday, May 31, 2021

Eight of the 10 states which have the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates are in the South. Doctors and epidemiologists are trying to come up with ways to encourage more residents to get vaccinated.


Houses Of Worship Grapple With The Vaxxed And Unvaxxed Divide

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Congregations are figuring out how to safely meet in person now that the COVID-19 vaccine is more widely available. But vaccination remains divisive even as it allows them to come together again.


For Kurdish Americans In Nashville, A Beloved Leader's Death Prompts Vaccine Push

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Some immigrant groups are closing the ethnic gap on COVID-19 shots. For many Kurdish Americans, their fears about vaccination are entangled with their experiences in refugee camps after fleeing Iraq.


Nashville Nonprofit Shifts From Financial Help To Mental Health

Sunday, May 02, 2021

People who work in the music industry need more than economic bailouts. An aid group based in Nashville is now providing money for mental health assistance to people who haven't had work for a year.


'It's Not A Never Thing' — White, Rural Southerners Hesitant To Get COVID Vaccine

Thursday, April 15, 2021

A majority of white, rural conservatives in Tennessee are open to getting the vaccine at some point, but at least 45% won't consider it. Rates in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi are also lagging.


Mental Health Takes Center Stage As Pandemic Devastates Nashville's Live Music Scene

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

WPLN News reports on surmounting mental health concerns in Nashville's live music community.


In Rural Tennessee, Conservatives Voice Vaccine Hesitancy

Saturday, April 03, 2021

An NPR/Marist poll found that rural, white Republicans — especially supporters of former President Trump — are among the least likely to get a vaccine. In rural Tennessee, we hear from some of them.


Should Masking Last Beyond The Pandemic? Flu And Colds Are Down, Spurring A Debate

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Hospitalizations are down 62% for childhood respiratory illnesses, a study shows. Masking and physical distancing are keeping a variety of viruses in check, but will these behaviors last?


Accidentally Trashed, Thawed Or Expired: Reports Of COVID-19 Vaccine 'Spoilage' Grow

Thursday, March 04, 2021

As the pace of vaccination picks up, so do reports of spoiled doses. In Tennessee, close to 5,000 doses have been lost, prompting more oversight from state and federal officials.


Biden Administration Recruits Community Clinics To Help Solve Vaccine Inequities

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Black Americans are getting vaccinated at lower rates than whites. A new push to send vaccines to community health centers is intended to help quickly bridge that gap.