Our Leadership and Caring Team of Physicians
Christopher 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.
Rebecca Calabrese, MD
Medical Director for Home Connections
Rebecca Calabrese is the Medical Director for Home Connections. Board-certified in both Palliative Care & Internal Medicine, she received her medical degree at New York Medical College, and completed Internal Medicine residency at Beth Israel Medical Center, NY. She served as associate director for the department of Hospital Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in NY, was Director of Hospital Medicine for UBMD, completed her Palliative Care Fellowship training at the University at Buffalo, and most recently was a palliative care physician at ECMC.
Kelley 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.
Megan O'Shea Farrell, MD
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. Dr. Farrell previously served as the Hospice Medical Director.
VP of Patient Services
Kim comes to Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo with more than twenty years of nursing experience, most recently from McAuley Residence where she serviced as the Director of Nursing for three years. Prior to that, Kim serviced as a Clinical Manager with McAuley Seton Home Care.
Debra Luczkiewicz, MD
Hospice Medical Director
Debra 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.
Chief Operating Officer
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.
Samantha 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.
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.
Executive Vice President, Hospice Foundation
Elizabeth is a native Buffalonian and comes to Hospice from the University at Buffalo where she served for over sixteen years, most recently as the Executive Director of Advancement for the College of Arts and Sciences. During her time at UB, she was also the Director of Corporate Sponsorship and the Director of Development for the School of Architecture and Planning. Previously, she spent over fifteen years in sales and marketing working with large, national companies. Elizabeth has oversight of the Hospice Foundation and Marketing, where she and the team engage the Western New York community to build awareness, volunteerism, and philanthropy for the organization.
Cary 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.
John 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.
Abigail Unger, LCAT, MT-BC
VP 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).
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.
Anne Banas, MD
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.
Christopher Jacobus, MD
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.
Dominic Lipome, MD
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.
Fausat Oke, MD
Dr. Oke was an attending physician in her native country of Nigeria. She completed an Internal Medicine residency in Brooklyn, NY, and recently graduated from the Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship, here in Western New York, after completing her training at Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo.
Tanya Orellana, MD
Dr. Orellana is a graduate of the UB medical school and Internal Medicine residency programs, and completed a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Queens, NY.