Professor Emerita of Social Work

Grace H. Christ


Dr. Grace Christ is a co-founder of the newly formed Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN). This national organization emerged from the Social Work Leadership Development Awards Program of the Soros Foundations’ Project on Death in America. Directed by Professor Christ the leadership program provided practice and research awards to advance social work leadership in the field of palliative care. She also directed the FDNY-CSU/Columbia University Family Intervention  for families of firefighters who died in the WTC disaster. Dr. Christ was formerly the director of social work at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (MSKCC) where she developed the first research unit within a department of social work; and is a founding and past president of the Association of Oncology Social Workers.

Research Interests:

  • Social Work practice and research in health and mental health
  • Oncology and chronic illness
  • Palliative and end-of-life care
  • Disaster preparedness and response
  • Normal, complicated and traumatic grief


Current Projects:

  • Developing a more comprehensive model of mourning and reconstitution that integrates the nature of the event and factors that affect normal and symptomatic outcomes over the long term in high risk populations, including children and adults
  • Developing evidence based social work intervention models in oncology,  in adult and pediatric palliative care, and in bereavement


  • “Book for the New Millennium” Award, International Palliative Care Organization, Montreal, Canada. (2004)
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Research Award, Orlando, FL. (2001)
  • Distinguished Service Award for Research and Scholarly Achievement, National American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. (1994)

Selected Publications:


Green, P., Kane, D., Christ, G., Lynch, S., & Corrigan, M. (2006). FDNY crisis counseling: Innovative responses to 9/11 firefighters, families, and communities. New York: Wiley Publishing Co.

Christ, G. (2000). Healing children’s grief: Surviving a parent’s death From cancer. New York: Oxford University Press. (

Book Chapters

Christ, G. (in press). Adolescent grief. In S. McPhee (Ed.), Care at the close of life: Evidence and experience. JAMA: Chicago.

Truog, R., Christ, G., Browning, D., & Meyer, E. (in press). Sudden traumatic death in children. In S. McPhee (Ed.), Care at the close of life: Evidence and experience. JAMA: Chicago.

Christ, G., Kane, & Horsley, H. (in press). Grief after terrorism: Toward a family focused intervention. In R. Neimeyer, H. Winokuer, D. L. Harris & G. Thorton, Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice.

Blacker, S., & Christ, G. (in press). Defining social work’s role and contributions in palliative care: Developing professional and interprofessional leadership. In T. Altilio & S. Otis Green (Eds.), Textbook of palliative care in social work. Oxford University Press: New York.

Christ, G. (2010). Children and the death of a parent. In C. Corr & D. Balk (Eds.), Children, death, and bereavement. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Christ, G. (2010). Foreword. In B. Monroe & F. Kraus (Eds.), Brief interventions with bereaved children (2nd addition). London: Oxford University Press.

Christ, G., & Weisenfluh, S. (2008). Parent and child bereavement. In D. Walsh (Ed.), Palliative Medicine (1st ed.).

Christ, G. (2006). Providing a home-based therapeutic program for widows and children. In P. Green, D. Kane, G. Christ, S. Lynch, & M. Corrigan (Eds.), FDNY crisis counseling: Innovative responses to 9/11 firefighters, families, and communities (pp. 180-211). New York: Wiley Publishing.

Journal Articles

Christ, G. (2010) Social work contribution to a comprehensive model of mourning: the experience of bereaved families of fire-fighters killed on 9/11/01. In M. Davis & S. Payne (Series Eds.), Progress in Palliative Care.

Christ, G. & Christ, A. (2006). Children’s grief: Current approaches to helping children cope with a parent’s terminal illness. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, July/August, 56, 197-212.

Truog, R., Christ, G., Browning, D., Meyer, E. (2006). Sudden traumatic death in children. In S. McPhee, (Ed). Care at the Close of Life: Evidence and Experience, JAMA: Chicago.

Christ, G. (2006). Academic and Behavioral Reactions of Children with Disabilities to the Loss of a Firefighter Father: The New York City World Trade Center Attack 9/11/01. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 2(3), 68-78.

Christ, G., &  Blacker, S. (2006). The continuing quest for “better”. (Editorial). Journal of Palliative Medicine,9(3).

Christ, G., &  Blacker, S. (2005). End-of-life and palliative care policy: Social work’s perspective and contributions. (Editorial). Journal of Palliative Medicine,8(4), 1269-1270.

Christ, G., & Blacker, S. (2005). Enhancing our understanding of the impact of transition to end-of-life caregiving. (Editorial). Journal of Palliative Medicine, 8(3), 622-622.

Christ, G., & Blacker, S. (2005). The profession of social work in palliative and end-of-life care. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 8(2), 415-417.

Kramer, B., Christ, G., Bern-Krug, M., & Francoeur, R. (2005). A national agenda for social work research in palliative and end-of-life care.  Journal of Palliative Medicine, 8(2), 418-431.


Christ, G. (2010, August). Family Crisis Counseling in Disasters. Invited speaker at the NASW preconference at the NHPCO national conference, Boston, MA.

Christ, G. (2010, June). The Emerging Field of Social Work in Palliative Care. Presented at the Sixth International Social Work Conference on Health and Mental Health, Dublin, Ireland.

Christ, G. (2010, June). Toward a More Comprehensive Model of Mourning: Lessons Learned from the WTC Disaster. Presented at the Sixth International Social Work Conference on Health and Mental Health.

Christ, G. (2010, May). A More Comprehensive Model of Mourning. Keynote speaker at the Hospice of the Suncoast Bereavement Day Program, Lexington, KY.

Christ, G. (2010, June). Social Work Professional Innovation in Promoting Health and Mental Health. Plenary speaker at the Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development, Hong Kong.

Christ, G. (2010, February). Advancing Palliative Social Work Research and Practice. Co-Convener, Social Work in Hospice and Palliative Care Pre-conference American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Annual Assembly, Boston MA