Donna Luff, PhD

Associate Director

As Associate Director, Donna Luff PhD, brings impressive skills in program development and qualitative research, and first-hand experience advancing IPEP’s important work. Donna joined IPEP’s staff in 2014 as Education Leader for the Advancing Relational Learning Worldwide project, a joint IPEP / OPENPediatrics collaboration developed to adapt the Institute’s groundbreaking curricula for new online formats accessible to practitioners worldwide. In addition to developing two online courses for this project, Donna has taken a central role in the Institute more broadly, serving as faculty on several other IPEP initiatives, developing new initiatives like the Writing Collaborative, and enhancing the team’s qualitative research skills and scholarship.

Donna is an instructor in Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and joined the Institute from a previous position as Associate Director of the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. Donna has worked in healthcare research, teaching and program management for most of her career, in both the US and her native UK, and holds a doctorate in Sociology. She also worked as health promotion practitioner in the British National Health Service (NHS) and has a postgraduate qualification in health education practice.


Mishra A, Browning D, Haviland M, Jackson ML, Luff D, Meyer EC, Talcott K, Kloek C. Communication  skills training in ophthalmology: Results of a needs assessment and pilot training program. J Surg Educ. 2018 Mar – Apr;75(2):417-426. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.011. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Meyer EC, Lamiani G, Luff D, Brown SD. Voices emerging from the shadows: Radiologic practitioners’ experiences of challenging conversations. Patient Education and Counseling 2017 Feb (100):133-138

Luff D, Martin E, Mills K, Mazzola N, Bell SK, Meyer EC. Clinicians’ Strategies for Managing Their Emotions during Difficult Healthcare Conversations. Journal of Patient Education and Counseling, 2016 Jun; 28(16):30281-6.

Luff D, Fernandes S, Soman A, Meyer EC, Brown SD. The Influence of Communication and Relational Education on Radiologists’ Early Post-training Practice. Journal of the American College of Radiology 2016 Apr; 13(4) 445–448

Martin EB, Mazzola NM, Brandano J, Luff D, Zurakowski D, Meyer EC. Clinicians’ recognition and management of emotions during difficult healthcare conversations. Patient Education and Counseling. 2015; 98:1248-1254