About Dr. Tracy Wharton

Assistant Professor
School of Social Work, College of Health & Public Affairs
College of Medicine, Clinical Studies
Affiliate: Women’s & Gender Studies
Interprofessional Education Social Work team leader
Steering team: Apopka clinic
Principal Investigator: SW HEALS grant

Current contact information:
cell: 1 (508) 280-8715
work: 1 (407) 823-2819
Tracy.Wharton@ucf.edu
University of Central Florida
12805 Pegasus Drive, HPA1-247
Orlando, FL 32807

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  1. Health outcomes and access for older adults & chronic illness in community settings
    • Dementia caregiver wellbeing, and risk management of aggressive behaviors
    • Healthcare access for d/Deaf older adults
    • Equine facilitated psychotherapy for trauma
  2. Workforce development for healthcare settings
  3. Program evaluation

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Dr. Wharton is available to give workshops or seminars on the following topics:

*Dementia caregiving

*Palliative care & end-of-life issues: an introduction to concepts and issues that can be difficult to discuss and complicated to understand, including the importance of state-specific advanced directives

*Compassion Fatigue: Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, & Self-care

*Military 101 for civilians: All those questions you’ve always wanted to ask about who they are, what they do, and what all those abbreviations mean, plus some insight into the real conditions in the middle east for our military members.

*Military Family life: An insiders look at issues that MilFamilies face, how they cope, and what you need to know as someone who wants to help.

*Research & Evaluation in the workplace: Why should we care, the pros & cons of gathering different types of information, and how do we understand what we see.

If you are interested in one of these presentations, please email me at tracy.wharton@ucf.edu. Presentations are available to all sized groups, and materials may be available separately, depending on your need.

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Click here to donate money for school supplies for Penyo Maria orphanage in Veliko Turnova, Bulgaria. Supplies will be purchased and delivered by volunteers associated with ZOV-UK, and the Balvan Projects.

Tracy Wharton completed a NIH/NIMH funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School, with additional time as a program evaluator in the departments of Internal & Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care. She holds a PhD in Social Work (University of Alabama) with foci on intervention research and gerontology. She holds Masters degrees in Social Work (Health focus; University of Michigan), Social Welfare (Evidence-based Social Intervention; Oxford University), and Psychology (Marriage & Family Therapy; Cambridge College), and a Bachelors degree in Psychology (Family & Community Systems; Cambridge College). Tracy received honours for her work in large-scale intervention designs at Oxford University.

Tracy and Picabo

Tracy and Picabo

Adjunct to her training, she apprenticed with clinical psychologist Marguerite Malone, PhD, to learn equine facilitated psychotherapy and learning techniques.

She is licensed as a clinical social worker in the states of Florida and Alabama and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, a former Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer, a Board Member of Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa (TROT), a member of Team RWB and a Founding Board Member of Military Spouses of Michigan (MSoM). MSoM is a non-profit organization founded in April, 2012, to provide social, moral, and logistical support for military and military-contractor families of all types.

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Red Cross Shelter Team

Red Cross Shelter Team, Tuscaloosa AL, 2005

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Tracy is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida, School of Social Work, College of Health & Public Affairs.
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NIHsem2015 w Sylvia and Susan UCF
During her postdoctoral fellowship, she was affiliated with the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry & the Program for Positive Aging at the University of Michigan Medical School, and with the VA- Center for Clinical Management Research/ HSR&D Center of Excellence. Tracy served as a program evaluator with the Geriatric Research Education and Counseling Center (GRECC) at the Ann Arbor VA, and a Senior Research Specialist in the Dept of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine in Internal Medicine at University of Michigan Health Care System. She was a Lecturer for the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, where she taught macro courses, and was a faculty member at Cherry Hill Seminary in the United States, where she taught graduate level courses in the pastoral counseling track on Compassion Fatigue, Foundations in Counseling, & Research and Evaluation.

In addition to her work in dementia caregiving and well-being of older adults, she has expertise in program evaluation and is particularly interested in helping determine outcomes of interventions, and has an interest in educating students about international issues of human rights and social justice. She has a growing track record of publications, including technical support for a CDC report on caregiving. Tracy previously worked as a marriage and family therapist with MSPCC in Massachusetts, Community Counseling Center in Rhode Island and as the Family-Based Service Coordinator for the Cape & Islands child protective region of Massachusetts.

She was the Program Director for the Alabama Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH-OUT) project, which won the Roslyn Carter Institute Leadership in Caregiving Award in 2007, and a consultant for the North Carolina state implementation of the REACH project, where she provided implementation training to social workers across the state. Her year-long MSW internship was with the multidisciplinary Inpatient Geriatric Consultation Team at the University of Michigan Hospital, where she rounded three days a week with some of the leading geriatric physicians and specialists in the country, and provided specialized social work services to geriatric inpatients, families, and caregivers.

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The Doctoral cohort of the Center for Mental Health & Aging at University of Alabama-2009

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The Rosalyn Carter Center Caregiving Program of the Year award: REACH-OUT 2007

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Macro class UCF 2015

UCF Social Work Macro class running a community resource fair, Summer 2015

Until recently, she worked as a volunteer for the Red Cross, where she has worked in Disaster Services since 1985 (registered in West AL since 2004) and has served in Disaster Assessment Teams, Shelter Management, Logistics and Case Management roles for hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires. She was part of the team that opened and ran disaster shelters in Tuscaloosa, AL, for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ivan, & Gustav, among others. Tracy served in 2009 as the Interim Secretary for Oxford Aid to the Balkans, through which she volunteered, and continues to share information with social work colleagues and support an orphanage in Bulgaria through her association with ZOV-UK.
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In her free time, Tracy spends time with her arabian horses, who live on a therapeutic-riding farm. She loves to drum, dance, and travel, especially if she has the chance to meet new people and experience new cultures or see more of this amazing and wonderfully diverse world. She is learning to spin wool and to crochet, although she might be the worst crocheter ever.

Memberships:
Editorial board member: Research on Social Work Practice (beginning 2012)
American Evaluation Association (AEA): Co-chair, Social Work Topical Interest Group, 2010-12
National Association of Social Workers (NASW): Florida Chapter
International Federation of Social Work (IFSW)
Associate Member: American Psychological Association (APA)
Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)
Gerontological Society of America (GSA)
Oxford University Scientific Society (OUSS)

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