Blake Farmer

Latest Stories (85)

Nashville VC fund invests in health startups led by Black entrepreneurs

Jan 27, 2022
One goal is to address inequities in health care, and to help make sure those inequities don't get worse as medicine relies more on big data.
Entrepreneur Marcus Whitney, left, interviews former HCA CEO Milton Johnson during Whitney's Health:Further conference in Nashville, which ran from 2015 to 2019.
Melissa Madison/Courtesy Health:Further

Nursing homes are in critical need of staff

Jan 11, 2022
Some nursing homes say they can't compete for workers, as fast-food places and other retailers have raised wages.
Ashley Rose (left) and Patsy Wilkerson (right) are occupational therapy assistant who work at Knollwood Manor in Lafayette, Tennessee. They joke that they’re also certified nursing assistant assistants because the nursing home is so short on CNAs they end up picking up many of their duties.
Blake Farmer/WPLN

What's the best way to navigate personal bankruptcy?

Dec 27, 2021
For people pushed to the edge financially, bankruptcy can be an option. One nonprofit is trying to make the choice easier and less expensive.
Bankruptcy can be a lifeline for some, but it's still out of reach for many who can’t afford the roughly $1,500 it takes to hire an attorney and pay for court fees.
FuzzMartin via Getty Images

What will a $10,000 gift mean for students at Meharry Medical College?

Dec 22, 2021
Students can use the money any way they want, but it could help them reduce debt, and pay for living costs.
Meharry master's student Andreas Nelson said being given $10,000 means the school trusts students to use the money in ways useful to them. Nelson hopes to attend dental school, which leaves the average Meharry student with $280,000 in loans.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

Unemployment is unavailable to many who lose jobs over vaccination rules

Nov 8, 2021
States are taking different paths on paying benefits to people who lose their jobs for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Employers from hospitals to meatpacking plants are pushing vaccination for their employees' and customers' safety. In some cases, the unjabbed have lost their jobs.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

Nursing schools struggle to fill the void left by pandemic

Sep 30, 2021
There are signs enrollment in nursing schools has picked up, just as nurses are leaving the profession.
COVID-19 has prompted an exodus of nurses. Though the number of nursing students is growing, it may not be enough to fill the gap.
Brandon Bell via Getty Images

Hospitals of all sizes struggle as COVID patients overwhelm capacity

Sep 22, 2021
As smaller hospitals try to find beds, large medical facilities in some areas are straining to find the staff to handle patients in need of high-level care.
A COVID-19 patient uses a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to help her breathe in a COVID holding pod at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, California.

High pay for traveling nurses a symptom and cause of staff shortages

Sep 7, 2021
Traveling RNs make far more money than full-timers in the same job, stirring frustration at hospitals. Governments often foot the bill.
A poster lauding nurses'efforts hangs at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles. The COVID pandemic has put more demands on nurses — and created more demand for nurses.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Medical debt is hitting hardest for people in the South

Aug 16, 2021
A JAMA study finds the debt is higher in states that have decided to turn down federal money to expand Medicaid.
Medical debt in Tennessee and other states that haven’t expanded Medicaid outpaces debts people owe in other states, according to a new JAMA study.  But hospitals like those owned by Community Health Systems say they need to collect on bills to stay financially viable.
Stephen Jerkins/WPLN News

What would rural health care from a discount retailer look like?

Jul 19, 2021
Dollar General, with more than 17,000 stores, is moving into health care. Many rural communities have lost hospitals in recent years.
Dollar General plans to provide a "comprehensive network" of affordable health services. Residents have a hard time getting medical care in some of the towns where it has stores.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News