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I am an Associate Professor of Social Work and Coordinator of the Social Work Public Affairs PhD track at the University of Central Florida, with a secondary joint appointment to the College of Medicine. I am a founding organizer and the lead for the Behavioral Health team for the UCF Community Outreach clinic in Apopka, and a Behavioral Health team partner for the UCF/UF Interprofessional Education steering team, where I served as lead for the past 5 years.
My research is centered on health and mental healthcare access for vulnerable and marginalized populations, and alternative treatment options for care hesitant populations. This umbrella includes work on exploration of experiences and needs of immigrants to Central Florida, community-based dementia caregiver training for diverse families, and workforce development for interprofessional care.
I am a licensed clinical social worker in the states of Florida and Alabama, and a Qualified Supervisor for MFT/MHC/CSW in the state of Florida.
Dr. Wharton sees clients for therapy and family consultation through Live Oak Behavioral Health: https://www.liveoakbehavioralhealth.com/ or 407-756-2084, and also through Psychological Consultants in Alabama.
Qualified clinical supervision available for social work, mental health counseling, and marriage & family therapy registered interns in the state of Florida.
Current contact information:
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.
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.
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 immigration and healthcare access, and 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 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 Rosalyn 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.
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.
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:Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)Gerontological Society of America (GSA)American Evaluation Association (AEA): Co-chair, Social Work Topical Interest Group, 2010-12National Association of Social Workers (NASW): Florida ChapterOxford University Scientific Society (OUSS)International Federation of Social Work (IFSW)Associate Member: American Psychological Association (APA)Editorial board member: Research on Social Work Practice (2012-2017)