Faculty and Staff

Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

  • PhD, Social Work, University of Alabama
  • MEd, Counseling Psychology, Cambridge College
  • MSc, Social Welfare: Evidence-Based Social Interventions, Oxford University
  • MSW, Health/Medical Social Work, University of Michigan
  • LCSW, 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
Research Interests
  • Healthcare access and quality of care for older adults with chronic conditions
  • Healthcare access and equity for vulnerable or marginalized populations
  • Workforce development for interprofessional healthcare settings
  • Program evaluation
  • Dementia caregiver wellbeing
  • 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