About Dr. Kerr & the Research Team


As part of our mission to provide care, support, advocacy and education to people impacted by serious illness and loss, the Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo research department discovers and explores ways that we can improve the quality of hospice care. From the department’s inception in 2011, Dr. Christopher Kerr and his team have been committed to making scientific discoveries that translate into extraordinary care. This effort to launch a research department housed within a non-profit, community-based hospice and palliative care organization is unique to us across the nation.

Learn More About Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo  →

The Research Team

studies on end-of-life experiences (ELEs) and the impact they have on patients and caregivers, as well as studies on delirium, and other psychosocial interventions that seek to improve the quality of life of the hospice and palliative care population.

Psychology Today. The team's findings in turn have helped improve care for individuals suffering from serious illness, as well as their loved ones. Our integrative approach to physical, emotional, social and spiritual care focuses on the whole person, rather than just their individual symptoms.

We are an interdisciplinary team with a wide range of research experience and clinical expertise, and we work closely with our clinicians. Together, we work toward improving outcomes for the community that we serve.

Christopher Kerr, MD, PhD →

Chief Executive Officer & Chief Medical Officer


Clinical Researchers

Kathryn Levy, MSW, AdvStat

Past Clinical Researchers Who Have Conducted ELDV Research

Jim Donnelly, PhD
Scott T. Wright, PhD
Sarah M. LaFever, PhD
Jennifer Breier, MS, Ed, MS, CRC
David J. Byrwa, MS
Rachel M. Depner, MS, PhD (c)
Pei C. Grant, PhD


Our Clinicians Who Have Conducted ELDV Research

Debra L. Luczkiewicz, MD

Why Do ELEs Matter?


ELEs provide the dying with comfort as they move closer to the end of life. Some patients will experience an increase in personal strength or a deeper spiritual connection. They may feel positive emotions, such as happiness, excitement, animation or a sense of nostalgia — in fact, many patients look forward to experiencing their next dream or vision.

Because ELEs can be so comforting for dying patients, they also have a profound effect on loved ones. ELEs can help the bereaved accept their loss and the idea of a world without their loved one. They can also serve to diminish the pain of grieving, while helping survivors feel empowered to continue the bond they had with their loved one prior to their passing.

Learn More About ELEs  →

Talk to Our Team


Are you a researcher who is interested in getting involved with our research on end-of-life experiences? Contact us today to learn more.