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Welcome from the Program Director

Program Director NameIt is my profound honor to be director for the URMC Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship for the past 8 years. I chose to stay at the University of Rochester for all my medical training, from medical school through my Medicine-Pediatric residency and my HPM fellowship in the class of 2010. It’s been amazing watching the program grow into a highly sought-after, growing program that it is today. We added a Pediatric track in 2014, for pediatricians, internist-pediatricians or family physicians who plan to see a mixture of babies, children and adults. We are thrilled to welcome our first Neuro-palliative track fellow in 2022, after recruiting Dr. Benzi Kluger as our Neuro-palliative care specialist and Palliative Care Research Center Director.

Our program has been home to national leaders in the field, including our founder, Dr. Timothy Quill, who earned the Lifetime Achievement Award for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and trained us all, Dr. Ron Epstein, a pioneer in patient-doctor communication, mindfulness, and resilience. I am thrilled to be co-editor and author of the first clinical guide to Perinatal Palliative Care. We have a thriving group of scholars and researchers in addition to passionate clinicians and educators.

I truly believe that the education fellows receive is unparalleled, with the beautiful, deep and passionate work done on our 12-bed inpatient Sussman palliative care unit (4-1200), the breadth of patient stories and backgrounds seen on our consultation service and in clinic, and dedication of our diversity faculty in specialty and background. The fellows contribute so much to our program, helping us with continual improvement through their QI projects, helping us all to stay up to date with the evidence, and many staying in our region.

I personally chose to stay at the University of Rochester because I truly loved working and living here. It is a wonderful place to work, with kind, compassionate and brilliant colleagues at a first class academic medical center, within a beautiful gem of a city and region. Being fellowship director is truly one of the best parts of my work, to see the way the fellows grow both professionally and personally. I look forward to many more classes of wonderful fellows!

I’m thrilled to introduce Dr. Rachel Diamond. Dr. Diamond joined the HPM Fellowship as Associate Program Director in 2020. She is an alumna of our program, a pediatrician who loved seeing adults in palliative care so much, she stayed with our adult team as well as seeing children with our Pediatric Palliative Care Team. As a highly approachable, thoughtful, and warm person, she is a wonderful advocate for our fellows.

Erin Denney-Koelsch, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics
Fellowship Director