Tracy Wharton, PhD, LCSW

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Check out the sections of this site for more about me, my work, and my collaborators.

About me

Social scientist, licensed clinical social worker, independent, slightly crazy critical thinker and social advocate.

SPARK lab (Research)

Supporting Promising Aging Research among Knights (SPARK) is my research lab at the University of Central Florida. Focused on the intersection of aging and healthcare, my work includes caregiving for individuals with dementia, depression and care access in older adults, chronic care management in community based settings, and workforce development.

Workshops & Teaching

Community based workshops, student and professional mentorship, and teaching in higher education.


Links for you to check out, bookmark, support, or just visit.

About Me

Social scientist, licensed clinical social worker, independent, slightly crazy critical thinker and social advocate.
The world begins to end the day we stop caring about things that matter. -MLKJr

I am a licensed clinical social worker, a researcher, program evaluator, and college-level mentor & instructor. My research is centered on aging and chronic care management in older adults. I have a particular interest in support for dementia caregivers and high risk behaviors such as aggression that occur in the course of a dementia. There are many ways in which chronic care impacts all of our lives- our psychological well-being, our physical health, our relationships, and our engagement with the world around us. My work, both as a researcher and as a clinician, as well as in my role as mentor and instructor, is about changing the practice field. Research and evaluation give structure and evidence for creating the best possible work environment that produces the best possible outcomes for our clients.

  • Dementia Caregiving

    High risk behaviors & early identification of challenges

  • workforce development and compassion fatigue

    Training and development of a well-trained workforce; Issues of Vicarious trauma, Burnout, & Compassion satisfaction among professionals in the helping professions

  • Older adults & the healthcare system

    What happens when individuals interface with the healthcare system and providers? Issues of access to formal care, inpatient experience, transitional care and readmissions

  • Trauma

    Equine-facilitated interventions


2012-2014 Postdoctoral Fellowship Geriatric Mental Health Services Research Fellow
NIH/NIMH funded at University of Michigan Dept of Psychiatry, Univ of MI Medical School/ VA Ctr for Clinical Mgmt Research

2010 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)- Social Work; Minor: Intervention Research, focus on Gerontology
The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Dissertation: Exploring the uptake of evidence-based practice in social work.

2013 Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
University of Michigan
Interpersonal practice, Health & Geriatrics focus
Hospital-based internship

2009 Master of Science (M.Sc.), Social Welfare: Evidence Based Social Intervention
Oxford University, Dept of Social Welfare and Policy
Thesis: A systematic review of group interventions for burnout in social workers.

2000 Master of Education (M.Ed.)
Counseling Psychology, Marriage & Family Therapy focus
Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA
Thesis: The journey of families living with a diagnosis of cancer: An investigation into stages.

1998 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Psychology, Family & Community Systems focus
Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA

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