Home > About > Our Team & Board Members

Our Leadership and Caring Team of Physicians

Kerr_head_shot.jpgChristopher Kerr, MD, PhD
Chief Executive Officer & Chief Medical Officer 

Dr. Kerr joined Hospice Buffalo in 1999 as the Medical Director for Hospice Buffalo’s 22-bed Inpatient Unit and served in that capacity until 2011, when he was appointed HPCB's Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Kerr was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and comes from a long line of physicians, of which he is now the fifth generation. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Doctorate of Medicine, a PhD in Neurobiology and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester. Dr. Kerr received numerous awards throughout training that recognized his clinical performance, as well as his success as an educator and scientist.

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. The results of his studies generated enormous response in the non-medical community, both nationally and internationally, through coverage that has included the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, BBC, Scientific American and Psychology Today.

“It is a privilege to lead the dedicated employees and volunteers of this organization who bring such outstanding care and compassionate support to literally hundreds of people in our community each and every day,” Kerr states. “I’m excited to build on the national reputation and outstanding standard of care that Hospice Buffalo is noted for and to explore new opportunities to extend our mission of providing the highest quality hospice and palliative care services to our community.”

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, Home Connections, and Essential Care 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. Learn more about Dr. Kerr at DrChristopherKerr.com.


 

joe-05.jpgJoseph Bach
Chief Information Officer

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Joe provides overall strategic vision, direction and leadership of multiple departments, including Security/Privacy, Corporate Compliance, ensuring successful operations between all business segments. He is also responsible for business intelligence strategy, analytics, and leveraging information technology to enhance the organization’s operations. Learn more about Joseph Bach.


 

Kelley-33.jpgKelley Clem, RN, MS
VP of Clinical Education & Patient Advocacy

Kelley received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 1985 and received her Masters in Nursing Executive Leadership and Change in 2010. Kelley spent greater than ten years working in a vast array of clinical areas including critical, long-term and acute care before joining Hospice in 1997 as the Manager of Admissions. In 2000, she moved to California and started the first Pediatric Hospice & Perinatal program in Los Angeles. She returned to Hospice Buffalo in 2003 as Director of Essential Care for Children and was also responsible for the development of our Perinatal Program. In 2013 she moved into her current role as VP of Clinical Education and Patient Advocacy. In 2016, she received the Nurse of Distinction in Education Award from the Professional Nurses Association. Learn more about Kelley Clem.


Megan-10.jpgMegan O'Shea Farrell, MD
Medical Director

Prior to joining Hospice, Dr. Farrell was the Head of Endocrinology at the John M. Loré  Jr. M.D. Head and Neck Center at Sister’s Hospital. Dr. Farrell is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, with an additional certification in endocrinology, and Board Eligible in hospice & palliative care medicine.  


paula-10 (2).jpgPaula Farwell, RN, BSN, MHA, CHPN
VP of Community-Based Services

Paula oversees the care of Hospice Buffalo patients in private residences, assisted nursing facilities, and skilled nursing and DD group homes throughout Erie County. She works with the Hospice interdisciplinary team to ensure that our patients, their families, and the facilities that we collaborate with have their needs met in a supportive, specialized, and efficient manner.  Learn more about Paula Farwell.


sue-17.jpgSusan Herold
VP of Human Resources

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, Susan directs all Human Resource management and oversees Volunteer programs. Learn more about Susan Herold

 

 


maureen-17 (1).jpgMaureen Lehsten
Chief Financial Officer 

With over 30 years of experience in financial management and healthcare, Maureen develops financial strategy and oversees and manages growth, ensuring alignment with operations and goals of the organization. Maureen is an active and influential leader in the hospice and palliative care industry, committee memberships include: Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State (HPCANYS); finance section leader for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization; Healthcare Financial Management Association, WNY Chapter; Executive Liaison for the National Partnership for Hospice Innovations Group and leads their regulatory and finance chapters. Maureen is a graduate of Leadership Buffalo and currently serves as a Board Member for Every Person Influences Children Inc. and Fox Run of Orchard Park. Learn more about Maureen Lehsten.


roseann-01.jpgRoseann McAnulty
Chief Operating Office

Roseann is responsible for providing strategic leadership, management and vision related to the day-to-day operations. Working closely with clinical operations, her primary objective is to balance the highest level of care to patients and families with the operational and financial needs necessary for the organization to thrive. Learn more about Roseann McAnulty


Samantha-03.jpgSamantha K. Pudlewski, BSN, RN, CHPN
VP of Palliative Care & Admissions 

Samantha joined Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo in 2014 as Clinical Manager of a Homecare Team. Samantha was promoted to Director of Admissions in 2018. Prior to Hospice, she was the Director of Nursing at Absolut Care Nursing and Rehabilitation. Learn more about Samantha Pudlewski.


lynn-21.jpgLynn Riker
Director of Clinical Marketing & Outreach

Lynn oversees community engagement and education efforts to increase awareness and access to palliative care and hospice services in Erie County. 

 


elizabeth-15.jpg

Elizabeth Siderakis
Executive Vice President, Hospice Foundation

Siderakis is a native Buffalonian and comes to Hospice from the University at Buffalo where she served for over sixteen years. Most recently, Siderakis was the Executive Director of Advancement for the College of Arts and Sciences. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Corporate Sponsorship and the Director of Development for the School of Architecture and Planning. In her various roles, she worked with several alumni and friends in the WNY community and across the country to secure funding, organize events and activities, and create new programs and opportunities for alumni and students. Learn more about Elizabeth Siderakis.


Sisti.jpgCary Sisti, MS, RN, ANP-BC, ACHPN
Chief Clinical Operations Officer 

Cary graduated from Sister’s School of Nursing and received her Master’s degree in the Adult Nurse Practitioner program at Daemen College. Cary joined Hospice Buffalo in 1997, working in a variety of clinical and leadership roles throughout the organization. As a member of the Leadership Team, she provides oversight of clinical operations, as well as quality and regulatory compliance for hospice and palliative care programs. She also serves as the organization's Emergency Response Coordinator. Learn more about Cary Sisti.


john-10.jpgJohn Tangeman, MD, FACP
Administrative Medical Director

Dr. Tangeman joined Hospice Buffalo in 2005. Prior to Hospice, Dr. Tangeman was in private practice in Internal Medicine with Buffalo Medical Group. Dr. Tangeman is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both internal medicine and hospice & palliative care medicine. He has lectured at the local, state and national level on various topics pertaining to hospice and palliative care. His responsibilities include overseeing and managing admissions to our Hospice program. Learn more about Dr. John Tangeman


abigail-03.jpgAbigail Unger, LCAT, MT-BC
Vice President of Psychosocial Services

Abby joined Hospice Buffalo in 2004 as a Music Therapist and established the Expressive Therapies team in 2010. She implemented multi-service access to music, massage, and art therapies across all care environments as an integrated component of patient and family care. In addition to operations management, Abby provides clinical supervision to staff and interns, interdisciplinary case management, and coordination of various arts programs. Abby oversees the operations and development of the Wilson Support Center, including community grief support programs, events, and resource dissemination. Abby is a practicing music therapist and directs both Camp Blue Skies (bereavement camp for children) and Storm Clouds and Rainbows (child/family grief support group). Learn more about Abigail Unger.


kristie-05 (1).jpg

Kristie White
Finance Director

Kristie joined Hospice Buffalo in 1994. In her current role as Director of Finance, Kristie oversees general accounting, accounts receivable, payroll and regulatory financial reporting. Kristie guides financial decisions by establishing, monitoring and enforcing policies and procedures. She also protects assets by establishing, monitoring and enforcing internal controls. Learn more about Kristie White


 

Staff Physicians

Banas.jpgAnne Banas, MD
Staff Physician

Dr. Banas is a graduate of the SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine. Dr. Banas is certified by the Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Medical Education in Clinical Training in Mind/Body Medicine. She belongs to the American Academy of Neurology. 

Jacobus.jpgChristopher Jacobus, MD
Staff Physician

Dr. Jacobus has been working with the elderly since 2004 and joined Hospice Buffalo in 2006. Known for his compassionate care for geriatric patients and their families faced with life- limiting illness, he advocates for the respect the elderly deserve until their last breath. His reach extends into nursing homes, assisted living residences, group homes and hospitals. He is regarded by the clinical community as an expert in the field and his integrity serves as the foundation for his care. 

lipome.gifDominic Lipome, MD
Staff Physician

Dr. Lipome joined Hospice Buffalo in 2008. Prior to joining Hospice, Dr. Lipome worked at Buffalo Medical Group, PC, as a hospitalist. Dr. Lipome is Board Eligible in hospice & palliative care medicine. 

Dr_Deb_Luczkiewicz.jpgDebra Luczkiewicz, MD
Staff Physician

Dr. Luczkiewicz joined Hospice Buffalo in 2009. She is a graduate of the SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine, is Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice & Palliative Medicine, and formerly worked as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UB, teaching students, residents and fellows while maintaining a private practice in Amherst, NY. 

romanowski.jpgRoslyn Romanowski, MD
Staff Physician

Dr. Romanowski joined Hospice Buffalo after a 30-year career in medicine, most recently as Attending Physician, Hematology at UBMD Internal Medicine and the Adult Medical Director at Hemophilia Center of WNY. Previously, she worked at Century Medical Associates in Hematology and Oncology. Dr. Romanowski is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Medicine.

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Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is an eighteen member organization which governs Hospice &  Palliative Care Buffalo (HPCB). HPCB affiliates include Hospice Buffalo, Home Connections (adult palliative care program), Essential Care for Children, Wilson Support Center, and the Hospice Foundation of WNY.

 

Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo Board Members

Nora K. McGuire, Chair
Vince J. Mancuso, Vice Chair
Ryan M. Zebro, Secretary & Foundation Vice Chair
G. Richard Braen, MD
Varun Chandhok
John L. D’Angelo
Paul Duggan, CFP
Michael Edbauer, DO
Vicki Feine
Thomas J. Foels, MD, MMM
Brendan Harrington
Huron O. Hill II, DDS
Cheryl A. Klass, RN
Joyce A. Markiewicz
Nancy H. Nielsen, MD, PhD
Tracey O’Connor, MD
John D. Reinhold
Robert J. Schreck, Esq.
Michael W. Laipple (Emeritus)
Jock Mitchell (Emeritus)
R. Buford Sears (Emeritus)

Foundation Board Members

Ryan M. Zebro, Chair & HPCB Secretary
Ken Houseknecht, Vice Chair
Kevin K. Gluc, Esq., Secretary
Paul Duggan, CFP
James Kramer
Linda Maggio
Vince J. Mancuso, HPCB Vice Chair
Valerie McCauley
Catharine E. McGovern
Nora K. McGuire, HPCB Chair
Jane Mogavero
Marcy J. Munson
Thomas A. Muraca
Mark Notarius
Dan T. Riordan
Brendan J. Rich, Esq.
John A. Wabick
David S. Zygaj
W. Lawrence Buck (Emeritus)
Mary M. Wilson (Emeritus)

  • "I can’t say enough good things about Hospice Care! The care my mother was given was actually loving care. They did not treat her differently because she was in her 80s; they still took care of her. They all were wonderful, making sure she was turned when she was supposed to be, always made sure she was comfortable, talked to her as she was, a human being, even though she couldn’t talk anymore. Mom knew she was now in good care and so did we. They always made sure the family was doing OK also. I call them angels on Earth! Thank you for caring!"
    – Bernadette Spinnegan
  • "A very attentive staff that is non- intrusive, yet extremely attentive. The staff really goes out of their way to make sure you have everything you need for this transition. My mother passed on July 23rd. The final prayer was comforting and very well spoken. I really think highly of this place because I've never seen a group of people that really tend to your loved ones so delicate. Thank you Hospice Buffalo for doing so much for my family."
    – Pubg Hero
  • "The help we received while my husband was sick at home was terrific and the counseling I received for the last 13 months after his passing was wonderful. I miss you all very much."
    – Lois, Tonawanda
  • "Not coming here but if you need the care this is a great place! The staff is unreal! They show in every way they are not robots they truly care! The facility is very comforting!"
    – Joe Caulfield Sr.
  • I wish I could personally thank each person that helped us with my dad (if you knew him when he was well, you would have enjoyed his humor and zest for life)
    – Deborah
  • I admire all the people involved in Hospice. They are very strong and very tender...I know...had them for my wonderful husband Nick.
    – Evelyn, Buffalo
  • "I've had several family and friends assisted through Hospice Buffalo. Each situation was unique to the other, but Hospice and their caring professionals were amazing in each."
    – Vickie Eberth
  • "Hospice Buffalo is amazing! The in-home care and now the acute care my grandfather is receiving is the best. They are so supportive and such special people. Not only are they taking care of my sick grandfather but also taking care of us, the family, and checking in to make sure we ate too and be there for us to ask any questions. So thankful for Hospice Buffalo."
    – Ashley Marcantonio
  • “We are so thankful for the angels sent to our family through Essential Care, for Matthew's wonderful, loving personality,
    the time we have as a family, and our faith.”
    – Linda Evans
  • "Mom lost her battle with cancer today. The beautiful people and facilities that comprise Hospice made her last days full of love and dignity. I cannot properly express what it meant to our family. I'll never forget it."
    – Rebecca Richter Bonk
  • "What an amazing place to trust the end-of-life care of a loved one."
    – James Kelly
  • “I really didn’t think anyone could help me until Home Connections became involved. Dr. Kerr visited me and gave his undivided attention, focusing on my symptoms and less on my disease. I finally feel like I will get back to normal one day. When the nurse from Home Connections came in, I felt so much relief that she was able to help communicate with all of my doctors. It’s very stressful to have to do all of that on my own. I cannot thank Home Connections enough for working to get me a new mattress. I can't believe someone would do this for me!”
    – Kim, Home Connections patient
  • “Imagine the miracle of someone saying to you, ‘Don’t worry about anything. If you need a doctor’s appointment or something from the grocery store, call me and I will have a volunteer pick it up for you. If you need somebody to help you with anything, call me. We are here for you.’ Such comforting words from my Social Worker.”
    – Shirley Rosenthal, Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo Patient
  • "I would like to thank Hospice on behalf of myself and my family. They cared for my father while he was in the facility. Great staff and it really takes special people to care for the patients in the facility. They are helpful to the families as well. My dad was very comfortable until the end."
    – The Taylor Family
  • It was nice to know I could finally relax and trust a group of really caring folks.
    – Nancy, Buffalo
  • "They are all so caring and compassionate. Even the woman who cleaned my husband's room was so sweet and caring. I can't say enough good things about Hospice Buffalo."
    – Teresa Raiff Izzo
  • "Been a volunteer since my grandfather passed in Hospice due to the phenomenal care from Hospice. 100%."
    – Audra Hollander
  • "Shout out to Hospice Buffalo home health Team 5 who has been helping us with dad the past couple of months. They sent him a nice Veteran’s Day card with a star from an old flag. They are all so nice from his two aids, nurse, social worker, massage and music therapist, who sings and plays guitar, and even the volunteer who cut his hair along with my sister, sister-in-law and brother. It takes a village! But I know he appreciates the help and company, and being able to stay in his home. Update: Hospice continues to be kind to my dad. I know Medicare pays for expenses and that is wonderful too but the care given is great. He turned 94 on the December 3rd. Hospice brought him nice cards, a lap blanket, and his favorite chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! Thanks again!"
    – Lynda Gordon
  • 'Hospice in its entirety is a wonderful organization. Once my dad had stopped chemo, he had hospice coming to the house for 3 months or so. All of the people, from nurses to social workers to the chaplain, were so caring of him and the family. Once things got too bad, he was admitted to the hospice facility and everyone there was just as wonderful. They were caring and respectful of my dad and of our family. I want to thank all involved with them for making the end a little easier."
    – Michael John
  • "Hospice made my dad’s last days more comfortable. But more importantly, they made things easier for my mother."
    – Rick Mahoney
  • "A wonderful place! The staff is very caring and compassionate, not only to the patient but their families too. I can’t thank them enough."
    – Janice Marie
  • "I absolutely love Hospice! The people that help us are all amazing. I've never been able to rely on people like I do with the group that is helping us. Everyone is on top of everything. The nicest people to deal with! I can't thank them enough."
    – Debbie M. Rich
  • "My sister and my friends have been at Hospice and passed there. It is the most peaceful, compassionate place to be for the last days! You are welcome to visit at any hour! When I have seen others pass recently I thought ‘Why weren’t they at Hospice?’ They have a special staff there uniquely qualified for a special calling. God bless them and let us keep it going!"
    – Cindy Trojanowsky
  • "Music was a very important part of my family's life. I loved my mother's smile, and music therapy made her smile, every time, all the time. The music therapist often welcomed others in the nursing home to join in, giving my mother extra socialization. I will always be grateful for the care my mother received through Hospice Buffalo and the special extras like music therapy."
    – Lisa Feldman
  • "Wonderful staff! They made the process so much easier for me and my family. I couldn’t thank them any more for taking great care of my mother. Thank you all!"
    – Sissy Driscoll
  • "Hospice has offered me great comfort as I carry heavy grief. It is a sacred place for me; a place I still visit to visit with my Angels. Thank you Hospice for always being there for me."
    – Stacy Schwab