Blake Farmer

Latest Stories (66)

In some isolated rural areas, COVID-19 is hitting hard

Nov 13, 2020
Grundy County, Tennessee, is seeing new cases of COVID-19 every day, but health services are not readily available there.
In Tennessee, the National Guard has resumed running weekend drive-thru testing sites in rural communities, where COVID-19 testing is sometimes only available at the local health department.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

How one Nashville haunted house is trying to stay safe — and scary — this Halloween

Oct 13, 2020
The attraction operators are finding ways to open with modifications. For instance, screaming in peoples' faces is off limits.
Nashville Nightmare owner Brad Webb, left, walks the city’s health director, Dr. Michael Caldwell, through a haunted school attraction ahead of opening weekend.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

In Nashville's dominant health care sector, a lack of diversity in the upper ranks

Sep 3, 2020
Industry leaders say the lack of diversity also contributes to health disparities, like higher rates of chronic conditions in Black Americans.
Bobby Frist, chairman of the Nashville Health Care Council’s board of directors, speaks at an event. He's encouraging member companies to take meaningful action on racial inequity.
Donn Jones Photography and the Nashville Health Care Council

Teachers weigh their options as some districts reopen with in-person classes

Jul 30, 2020
Some choose to quit due to health concerns rather than go back into the classroom.
Teachers in Tennessee passing out food to students.
Courtesy Tennessee Department of Education

A company rebounds after learning hard lessons from COVID-19 outbreak

Jun 8, 2020
The virus sickened about a dozen employees at a Nashville tire distributor. Now those workers are trying to put their experience to good use..
The sales team at Dunlap & Kyle sits just outside General Manager Adam Waldrup's office, and most of them contracted COVID-19, with the first confirmed case April 2.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

Congress said COVID-19 tests should be free, but who might end up paying?

Jun 3, 2020
Some major health systems say they are sitting on millions of dollars in billing.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been holding back many bills related to COVID-19 testing for fear of a backlash from patients, who might be surprised that they owe anything.
Blake Farmer/WPLN

Volunteers are making masks to help with COVID-19 shortages. Who will use them?

Apr 3, 2020
Some hospitals are accepting homemade face masks, but they may have limited uses.
Oluwatosin Fagbuyi, a graduate student at Tennessee State University, has been helping keep the school’s 3D printers running, molding headbands as part of a face shield for medical workers.
Blake Farmer/ WPLN

Some wonder whether hospice puts too much of the burden for care on families

Feb 20, 2020
Much of the growth of hospice care in the U.S. has been led by for-profit agencies. That's leading people to ask if there's a better way.
More Medicare patients now die in hospice than not, fueling the growth of an industry now worth $19 billion.
Blake Farmer

The majority of medical students are women, but male heart surgeons still vastly outnumber female

Dec 31, 2019
Ninety-four percent of practicing thoracic surgeons are men — and that’s an improvement on recent years.
Dr. Amber Edwards at work.
Blake Farmer

Juul struggles to secure research on the effects vaping has on health

Sep 16, 2019
With vaping under intense scrutiny and a deadline of May 2020 to apply for FDA approval, the company is under pressure.
A man smokes an electronic cigarette.
Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images