NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Abraham Lurie (1917- )
Abraham Lurie was one of the great innovators in social work. His programs in psychiatry, healthcare, and discharge planning were known throughout the world. His substance of contributions to the resocialization of schizophrenics and to the application of group methods in healthcare settings were exemplary. Dr. Lurie not only dealt with basic research, i.e., the causes of mental illness but also with regard to the socialization, resocialization and rehabilitation of the mentally ill. He was an advocate par excellence innovating some of the best advocacy programs for mental health in the country. Abraham Lurie was a consummate social worker embodying the best in practice, research, management and program innovation.
Dr. Lurie began his social work career in 1939 when he was a social work supervisor in the New York City Department of Welfare. He served as a psychologist in the U.S. Air Force and as a social worker in Bellevue Hospital. From 1950-1972, he was the first Director of the Social Work Department at Hillside Hospital. During that time, he was also a consultant to the Rehabilitation Institute, the Newport Veterans Administration Hospital.
He received his MSW from the Columbia University School of Social Work and his PhD from New York University. Dr. Lurie has extensive experience in social work practice, management and education. His publications numbered in the hundreds and include books, refereed articles, and chapters.
In 1972, Lurie was made Director of the Department of Social Work at the Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center a merged facility between the Long Island-Jewish Hospital and Hillside Medical Center. From 1975 to 1982 he served as a consultant to the United States Public Health Service. Dr. Lurie was a professor at the Adelphi University School of Social Work from 1984 to 1988. During this time, he was also a consultant to the Nassau County Mental Health Association. He served as the Acting Director of the Division of Doctoral Studies at the School of Social Work. Dr. Lurie was on the staff of the State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Social Work.
Dr. Lurie won numerous awards including the Milton Wiley Award from the Federation. He was awarded the Israel Cummings Award as Social Worker of the Year, the Ida M. Cannon Award from the Society of Hospital Social Work Directors, and the Hy Weiner Award from the American Hospital Association.
He was a member of the National Academy of Practice and has been on numerous editorial boards.