Home > For Healthcare Providers > Research (PCI)

Here with Growth ~ Research helps Hospice Buffalo continually improve 

Palliative Care Institute (PCI)

Research is Important to Hospice & Palliative Care

The PCI research team is here to improve quality of life and experience for hospice patients and their families. Hospice and palliative care research projects range from person-centered studies to programmatic studies that translate into better hospice care and tangible quality-of-life improvements.

We collaborate with clinicians and the academic community, as well as partner with community providers. Our research interests include end-of-life dreams and visions, delirium, and other psychosocial interventions that seek to improve the quality of life of the hospice and palliative care population. Many of these studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and a few studies have garnered national attention, appearing in The New York TimesThe Huffington PostScientific American Mind, and Psychology Today. To learn more about our work, please visit our Publications section or our YouTube channel.

Meet the Research Team

Chris Kerr
Christopher W. Kerr, M.D, Ph.D  
Chief Medical Officer

Pei Grant
Pei C. Grant, Ph.D.
Director of Research

Rachel Depner
Rachel M. Depner, M.S., M.H.C.
Clinical Researcher

Katy Levy, MSW
Clinical Researcher

David Brywa
David Byrwa
Clinical Researcher 


Collaborations and Partnerships

We are always looking for opportunities to collaborate with researchers from diverse disciplines. We believe that research teams should not be isolated as independent silos, but should instead work together to generate high impact research. We have had collaborations with various departments at the University at Buffalo, Daemen College, Canisius College, and community providers. If you’re interested, please contact Pei Grant.

Select Publications

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011


O’Connor T, Ngamphaiboon N, Groman A, Luczkiewicz DL, Kuszczak SM, Grant PC, Kerr CW: Hospice Utilization and End of Life Care in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients at a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2015: 18 (1).


Kerr CW , Donohue KM, Tangeman JC, Serehali AM, Knodel SK, Grant PC, Luczkiewicz DL, Mylotte K, Marien JS. Cost Savings Associated with a Home-Based Palliative Care Program Implemented as a Hospice-Private Payer Partnership. 2014; 17 (12).

Wright ST, Grant PC, Depner RM, Donnelly JP, Kerr CW. Meaning-Centered Dream Work with Hospice Patients: A Mixed Methods Study. Palliative and Supportive Care. Oct. 15th, 2014: 1-19.

Lachaal CM, Celebrating Life Stories Tthrough Music at the End of Life. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2014: 17 (12).

Tangeman JC, Rudra CB, Kerr CW, Grant PC. A Hospice-Hospital Partnership — Reducing Hospitalization Costs and 30-Day Readmissions Among Seriously Ill Adults. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2014:17(9).

Kerr CW, Tangeman JC , Rudra CB, Grant PC,Luczkiewicz DL, Mylotte KM, Riemer WD, Marien MJ, Serehali AM. Clinical Impact of a Home-Based Palliative Care Program: A Hospice-Private Payer Partnership. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. April 18th, 2014.

Marabella S, Camp Blue Skies: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Hope. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2014: 17(6).

DiPizio A, Celebrating Life at the End of Llife: The Birthday Brigade. Journal of Palliative Care. 2014: 17(3).

Nosek CL, Kerr CW, Woodworth J, Wright ST, Grant PC, Kuszczak SM, Banas A, Luczkiewicz DL, Depner RM. End- of- Life Dreams and Visions: A Qualitative Perspective from Hospice Patients. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 2014: 32 (3).

Kerr CW, Donnelly JP, Wright ST, Kuszczak SM, Banas A, Grant PC, Luczkiewicz DL. End-of-Life Dreams and Visions: A Longitudinal Study of Hospice Patients’ Experiences. Journal of Palliative Care. 2014: 17 (3).

Wright ST, Kerr CW, Doroszczuk NM, Kuszczak SM, Hang PC, Luczkiewicz DL. The Impact of Dreams of the Deceased on Bereavement: A Survey of Hospice Caregivers. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 2014: 31 (2).

Kerr CW, Luczkiewicz DL, Holahan T, Milch R, Hang PC. The Use of Pentobarbital in Cases of Severe Delirium: A Case Series. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. 2014; 31 (1).


Szarpa KL, Kerr CW, Wright ST, Luczkiewicz DL, Hang PC, Ball LS. The Prodrome to Delirium: A Grounded Theory Study. Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing. 2013; 15(6):332-337.

Kerr CW, Donnelly JP, Wright ST, et al. Progression of delirium in advanced illness: a multivariate model of caregiver and clinician perspectives. J Palliat Med. Jul 2013; 16(7):768-773


Waldrop DP, Meeker MA, Kerr C, Skretny J, Tangeman J, Milch R. The Nature and Timing of Family-Provider Communication in Late-Stage Cancer: A Qualitative Study of Caregivers’ Experiences. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2012; 43(2):182-194.

Kerr CW, Drake J, Milch RA, et al. Effects of Methylphenidate on Fatigue and Depression: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2012; 43(1):68-77.

Kerr C, Holahan T, Milch R. The use of ketamine in severe cases of refractory pain syndromes in the palliative care setting: a case series. J Palliat Med. Sep 2011; 14(9):1074-1077.



We have enjoyed working with collaborators from various universities:

Interested in being on PCI's team?

Are you interested in being a member of the PCI Research Team or getting experience as a volunteer? Please Contact Pei Grant to learn about opportunities.

Contact Us

You must install Adobe Flash to view this content.

Inmate-Facilitated End-of-Life Care Study 

Inmate-Facilitated End-of-Life Care: Unique Perspectives on Confronting Death and Living a Meaningful Life in Prison

ASC Poster 

Consensus Qualitative Research -Prison Hospice Posttraumatic Growth 

NHPCO Virtual Conference 2015