Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer | The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care
Christopher Kerr, MD, Ph.D is a Hospice and Palliative Care physician who serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer at The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care in Buffalo, NY, where he has worked since 1999. Dr. Kerr has a Doctorate of Medicine, a PhD in Neurobiology and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester. Outside of direct patient care, Dr. Kerr’s focus is in the areas of leadership and advocacy. His passion is palliative care and a belief that such care should be offered upstream of its origins in hospice and throughout the continuum of illness. Dr. Kerr has overseen the integration and expansion of palliative care into local hospitals and developed one of the nation’s largest home based palliative care programs, which includes services for children. He has lectured and published on innovative program models that are designed to better align patient/family services to the complexity of needs inherent to advanced illness. Under Dr. Kerr’s medical leadership, Hospice Buffalo now serves 1,000 patients a day, half of whom receive services prior to hospice.
Dr. Kerr’s background in research has evolved from bench science towards the human experience of illness as witnessed from the bedside, specifically patient’s dreams and visions at the end of life. Although medically ignored, these near universal experiences often provide comfort and meaning, as well as insight into the life led and the death anticipated. To date, the research team at Hospice Buffalo has published multiple studies on this topic and documented over 1,200 end-of-life events, many of which are videotaped. This work was the subject of his TEDx Buffalo Talk which has been viewed over a million times. It has been the subject of reports on The BBC, in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American Mind, Huffington Post and Psychology Today and is the
subject of a documentary film in development. It has also gathered international attention and been reported in multiple countries including Norway, Korea, Ireland, India and China. Dr. Kerr’s work will also be published in a book by Penguin Random House in 2020.