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Covid-19 is changing the process of dying. One of the things that so many of us are deeply troubled by in recent times is that people are dying without having their loved ones by their side. As tragic as these changes are, Christopher Kerr, MD, Ph.D., CEO, and chief medical officer at Hospice Buffalo, explains that no one dies alone; this is deeply comforting as the final days and hours of those dying in hospitals without family and friends. 

Dr. Karlfeldt interviews Dr. Christopher Kerr, a hospice physician and author of the recent book; Death Is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End. Alongside direct patient care, Chris’ focus is in the areas of leadership and patient advocacy. His passion is palliative care, believing that such care should be delivered throughout the continuum of illness. Chris has overseen the integration and expansion of palliative care into hospitals and developed a large, home-based program for adults and children. He has lectured on and published innovative program models designed to better align patient/family services to the complexity of needs inherent to advanced illness.

In this episode of Health Made radio Dr. Michael Karlfeldt and Dr. Christopher Kerr discussed:

More About Dr. Kerr

Dr. Christopher Kerr is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer for The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Buffalo, New York. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Chris earned his MD as well as a Ph.D. in Neurobiology. Outside of direct patient care, Dr. Kerr’s focus is in the area of patient advocacy. His passion is palliative care and a belief that such care should be throughout the continuum of illness. Under Dr. Kerr’s medical leadership, Hospice Buffalo now serves 1,200 patients a day, half of whom receive services before hospice. Dr. Kerr’s background in research has evolved from bench science towards the human experience of illness as witnessed from the bedside, specifically patients’ 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 1,500 end-of-life events, many of which are videotaped. This work was the subject of his TEDx Buffalo Talk which has been viewed approximately 3 million times. It has been the subject of reports on The BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American Mind, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. The work will also be featured in an upcoming Netflix production and a Public Television documentary film to be released nationally in early 2021. Dr. Kerr’s work was also published in a book earlier this year (Death Is But A Dream) by Penguin Random House and is now being released in multiple languages.

Find Chris online at his website and Twitter.