Erica Sirrine, PhD
Clinical social worker, grief expert, and university dean Erica Sirrine, PhD, has been named Director of Social Work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For the past 14 years, Dr. Sirrine has worked in higher education, most recently serving as Dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. She also served on the faculty at Southeastern as well as Warner University. Prior to academia, Dr. Sirrine worked as an administrator and clinical social worker in a hospice center and hospital, focusing in areas of grief and bereavement.
“I’ve been in the academic world for over a decade, so returning to a health-care setting is like coming home. I’m grateful to be at St. Jude, the leader in providing treatment to children with catastrophic illnesses,” Dr. Sirrine said. “I’m going to have an opportunity to learn and grow here, and I hope to make a difference in the lives of our patients and families, as well as the team of social workers at St. Jude.”
Members of the Social Work Department at St. Jude provide families with counseling, support, and education. The team helps parents and patients understand illness and treatments, and they have specific expertise to help families cope with the emotional effects of living with illness.
Extensive Social Work Experience
Dr. Sirrine’s professional accomplishments include launching a new Master of Social Work Program at Southeastern University. She provides continuing education seminars on grief and loss counseling to mental health practitioners, and she conducts research on grief and bereavement, including a recent study on grief and loss amid the pandemic.
Valerie Crabtree, PhD
“Dr. Sirrine has a wealth of experience in developing and growing social work programs and is an expert in death, dying, and grief in children,” said Valerie Crabtree, PhD, Chief of Psychosocial Services at St. Jude. “Her expertise in these areas will help us advance our strategic goals for the Social Work department in a way that I feel confident will have a highly positive impact on our patients and their families.”
Dr. Sirrine holds a doctoral degree in social work from the University of South Florida. She has been recognized as a Fellow in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling.