Faculty and Staff

Tracy Wharton is a licensed clinical social worker in the states of Florida and Alabama. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Social Work with a secondary joint appointment to the College of Medicine: Clinical Sciences at the University of Central Florida. Wharton is also the Associate Director of Research for the McCormick Research Institute (where she is the PI for research on equine facilitated interventions for trauma intervention with veterans), and the IPE training and Apopka clinic planner and team lead for the School of Social Work. She is a member of the Central Florida Dementia Care & Cure Initiative Task Force, and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program Ambassador.

Wharton did her NIH funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she was affiliated with the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry & the Program for Positive Aging, as well as with the Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research/HSR&D Center of Excellence. She holds a PhD in Social Work (University of Alabama) with foci on intervention research and gerontology. She holds Masters degrees in Social Work (MSW: Health focus; University of Michigan), Social Welfare (MSc: Evidence-based Social Intervention; Oxford University), and Counseling Psychology (MEd: Marriage & Family Therapy; Cambridge College). She was the project director for the nationally recognized Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) translational interventions in Alabama, which won the Rosalynn Carter Institute (RCI) Leadership in Caregiving Award in 2007, and created the first trainings for the state of North Carolina REACH implementation and the Rosalynn Carter Institute. She is currently a trainer for the RCI Dealing With Dementia program, and is facilitating implementation of adaptations to both REACH and Savvy Caregiver for Central Florida.

Her research interests are in the broad area of healthcare access and quality of care for older adults, dementia caregiver support in community based settings and environmental support for aging in place, and on early identification of high risk behaviors in dementia.

  • Ph.D., Doctor of Philosophy, Social Work, University of Alabama
  • MEd, Master of Education, Counseling Psychology, Cambridge College
  • MSc, Master of Science, Social Welfare: Evidence-Based Social Interventions, Oxford University
  • MSW, Master of Social Work, Health/Medical Social Work, University of Michigan
  • LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed in Florida and Alabama
  • Phi Alpha Social Work honor society faculty advisor
  • Alpha Phi Omega faculty advisor
  • McCormick Research Institute/UCF College of Medicine
  • Affiliated Faculty: Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity
  • Affiliated Faculty: Disability Aging and Technology Cluster
Areas of Specialty
  • Healthcare access and equity for vulnerable or marginalized populations
  • Workforce development for interprofessional healthcare settings
  • Dementia caregiver wellbeing
Research Grants
Social Work

The Florida REACH Translation Project: Translating an EBP for an Outpatient Clinical Setting

  • PI: Tracy Wharton
  • Co-PI: Daniel Paulson
  • Amount: $94,999 | Timeframe: 02/14/2019 - 09/29/2021
    Funding Type: Extramural Research
    Funding Agency: Florida Department of Health: Ed & Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program
    Social Work

    Expanding SBIRT Workforce Capacity in Central Florida: SBIRT Training for Graduate Social Work Students and Community Health Professionals

  • PI: Shawn Lawrence
  • Co-PI: Mary Ann Burg
  • Co-PI: Reshawna Chapple
  • Co-PI: Tracy Wharton
  • Co-PI: Kimberley Gryglewicz
  • Amount: $807,538 | Timeframe: 09/30/2015 - 09/29/2019
    Funding Type: Extramural Research
    Funding Agency: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
    Social Work

    Social Work HEALS: Social Work Healthcare Education and Leadership Scholars

  • PI: Tracy Wharton
  • Amount: $95,650 | Timeframe: 07/27/2015 - 07/26/2020
    Funding Type: Foundation/Industry
    Funding Agency: Council on Social Work Education & National Association of Social Workers
  • SOW 4343: Macro roles and interventions in social work
  • SOW 3401: Social Work Research
  • SOW 5404: Social Work Research
  • SOW 6610: Clinical Practice with Military Veterans or Families and Groups
  • SOW 6246: Policy Analysis and Social Change
  • SOW 5217: Global Behavioral Health Policy and Practice
  • Researchers in the College of Health Professions and Sciences Use the Pandemic as an Opportunity to Expand Collaborations and Impact
    Written By: Camille Dolan '98 | May 21, 2021
    A little more than a year ago, faculty and students in the College of Health Professions and Sciences who were working on research projects had to pivot when COVID-19 derailed their plans. CHPS researchers regrouped and forged ahead with their projects by finding new ways to use the...
  • Apopka Outreach Clinic: UCF Social Work Students and the Importance of Interdisciplinary Care
    Written By: UCF School of Social Work | August 14, 2020
    The Apopka Outreach Clinic is an interdisciplinary community pop-up clinic by the UCF Academic Health Sciences Center (AHSC), with the Farmworker Association of Florida. Developed in 2016 by five dedicated...
  • Health Tips from Faculty During COVID-19
    Written By: Camille Dolan '98 | April 17, 2020
    The stressors brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic make self-care more important than ever. Here are some tips shared by our health experts at the College of Health Professions and...
  • Social Work Professor Helps Show Efficacy of Service Dogs for Veterans with PTSD
    Written By: Megan Pabian | February 21, 2020
    James Whitworth, Ph.D., LCSW with his dog, Cowgirl, who is definitely not a service dog. James Whitworth, associate professor in the School of Social Work, has devoted his career to...
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