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Our Team

Grief Support Services has played an important role in supporting members of the community after sudden, traumatic death since 1984.

Edward K. (Ted) Rynearson, MD



Ted attended Harvard University, followed by medical school at Case Western Reserve University and a medical residency at the Mayo Clinic. He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Washington and has authored two books and more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Ted lives on Puget Sound where he rows each dawn in his rowing scull (weather and tide permitting) and almost always sees a seal or an eagle.

Ted is also the author of Retelling Violent Death. Brunner-Routledge, New York, NY; and the editor of Violent Death: Resilience and Intervention beyond the Crisis. Taylor and Francis, New York, NY. 

Laura Jeffs

Project Coordinator


Laura is a graduate of the University of Washington, the Grief Services project coordinator, and has provided many years of successful management of the clinic’s activities. She collaborates extensively with other community partners and health care providers to serve the needs of our clients. An animal lover, Laura enjoys hiking and movies.

Sandi Espiritu, MA, LMHC

Mental Health Therapist


Sandi received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Seattle University and her master’s degree in psychology from Antioch University in Seattle. Counseling individuals who have experienced a traumatic death has been a focus of Sandi’s work for the past 13 years, both in private practice and in her affiliation with Virginia Mason Grief Services. Sandi enjoys spending time with family, reading and being in nature.

Joan Strecker

Grief Support Coordinator


Joan graduated from Scripps College and received a master's degree in social work from the University of Southern California. She enjoys cycling, paddle boarding and skiing.