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Faculty Craig Demmer

E-Mail Address:
Phone Number: 718-960-7313
Office Number: Gillet Hall, Room 334
Rank: Professor
Degrees and Sources of Degrees: B.Soc.Sc (Hons)., Univ. of Natal, South Africa; M.A., Brooklyn Coll.; Ed.D., Teachers Coll., Columbia Univ. ; Ph.D., Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Dr. Demmer received a B.Soc Sc. (Hons) from the University of Natal in South Africa in 1984 and an M.A. in Community Health from Brooklyn College, CUNY in 1994. He earned an Ed.D. in Health Education from Columbia University Teachers College in 1998 and a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2006. Trained as both a health educator and a social worker, Dr. Demmer had an extensive background in community health and mental health practice prior to joining Lehman in 1998.

His research and writing is focused in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Mental health, LGBT health, Qualitative research, Attitudes of health care providers, End-of-Life issues, Complementary medicine, and Caregiving issues. He has served as Principal Investigator on a NIH-funded grant on Improving care for dying children and their families in South Africa.

Dr. Demmer is also an actively engaged professional, serving as a manuscript reviewer for numerous peer-reviewed journals, an editorial board member of International Social Work, a member of the Review Board of the American Journal of Health Behavior, and as reviewer on panels for the NIH Center for Scientific Review. In recognition of his overall promise as a health educator and scholar, Dr. Demmer received the Early Career Award in 2002, awarded by The American Public Health Association; Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section.

For the past 15 years, Dr. Demmer has served as the coordinator for the MA in Health Education and Promotion and the MS Ed Health Teacher degree.

Academic Interests:

  • HIV/AIDS, Poverty and health, Grief and Bereavement, End of life care issues, Health counseling, Global health, School health

Research Topics:

  • End-of-life care, HIV/AIDS, Grief & Bereavement


  • Early Career Award, Public Health Education & Promotion Section, American Public Health Association

Selected publications:

  • Demmer, C., & Rothschild, N. Bereavement among South African adolescents following a sibling’s death from AIDS. African Journal of AIDS Research, 10 (1), 15-24, 2011.
  • Demmer, C. Experiences of families caring for a child with HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: A qualitative study. AIDS Care (in press).
  • Demmer, C. Experiences of women who have lost young children to AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a qualitative study. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 13:50, 2010.
  • O'Connor, M., Abbott, J., Payne, S. & Demmer, C. A comparison of bereavement services provided in hospice and palliative care settings in Australia, the UK and the US. Progress in Palliative Care, 17 (2), 69-74, 2009.
  • McDermott, S. & Demmer, C. Analysis of end-of-life content in selected introductory health education textbooks. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 16(3), 237-257, 2008.
  • Demmer, C. & Burghart, G. Experiences of AIDS-related Bereavement in the United States and South Africa: A Comparison. International Social Work, 51(3), 360-370, 2008.
  • Oneschuk, D., Balneaves, L., Verhoef, M., Boon, H., Demmer, C., Chiu, L. The status of complementary therapy services in Canadian palliative care settings. Supportive Care in Cancer, 15(8), 939-947, 2007.
  • Demmer, C. Coping with AIDS-related bereavement in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. AIDS Care, 19(7), 866-870, 2007.
  • Demmer, C. Responding to AIDS-related bereavement in the South African context. Death Studies, 31(9), 821-843, 2007.
  • Demmer, C. AIDS and palliative care in South Africa. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, 24(1), 7-12, 2007.
  • Demmer, C. Grief is a luxury: AIDS-related loss among the poor in South Africa. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 15(1), 39-51, 2007.
  • Demmer, C. Confronting AIDS-related loss and grief: An exploratory study of professional caregivers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. African Journal of AIDS Research, 5(2), 97–107, 2006.
  • Demmer, C. Caring for a loved one with AIDS: A South African perspective. Journal of Loss & Trauma, 11(5), 439-455, 2006.
  • Villa, D.P. and Demmer, C. Exploring the Link between AIDS-Related Grief and Unsafe Sex. Illness, Crisis, & Loss, 13(3), 219-233, 2005.

Book Chapters:

  • Demmer, C. Children and Infectious Diseases (pp. 131-146). In D. Balk and C. Corr (Eds), Children Encounters with Death, Bereavement, and Coping. New York: Springer Publishing Company (2010).
  • Demmer, C. Adolescents and HIV/AIDS (pp. 99-114). In. D. Balk and C. Corr (Eds), Adolescent Encounters with Death, Bereavement, and Coping. New York: Springer Publishing Company, 2009.

Other Publications:

  • Demmer, C. Review of Caregiving in Dementia: Research and Applications, Vol 4 B.M.L. Miesen and G.M.M. Jones (eds) (2006) . Abingdon: Routledge. International Social Work, 53: 137-139, 2010.
  • Demmer, C. Review of Shattered Dreams? An Oral History of the AIDS Epidemic in South Africa by G. Oppenheimer & R. Bayer (2007). Death Studies, 33 (4), 388-394, 2009.
  • Demmer, C. Review of Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging by B. Beckman (2006). International Social Work, 51, 113-115, 2008.
  • Demmer, C. Review of AIDSAFARI: A Memoir of My Journey with AIDS by A. Levin (2005), Positively Alive, by A. Brand (2005), and Witness to AIDS by E. Cameron (2005) , Journal of Loss & Trauma, 12, 295-302, 2007.