Jung KwakJung Kwak

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Ph.D., University of South Florida
MSW, University of South Carolina
B.S., University of South Carolina

Email: kwak@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-6107
Room: 1055 Enderis Hall

Professional Interests

  • Surrogate end-of-life decision-making
  • Cultural diversity in end-of-life decision-making
  • Efficacy of caregiver support interventions

Dr. Jung Kwak is Assistant Professor of Social Work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Before joining the HBSSW, Dr. Kwak received her doctorate in aging studies from the University of South Florida and completed her post-doctoral training as a fellow at the Center on Age and Community, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. 

Dr. Kwak’s primary research areas focus on surrogate end-of-life care decision-making and developing caregiver support interventions at the end of life. In 2010, she was selected as a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. Grant support from the Hartford program and the Parkinson Research Institute at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, she is completing a study to identify caregiving and decision-support needs among caregivers of people with advanced dementia or Parkinson’s disease. Her follow-up study focuses on developing decision-support coaching program for caregivers of persons with advanced dementia. Dr. Kwak is committed to conducting translational research with community agency partners to promote evidence-based patient-focused, family-centered support interventions and practice by health professionals.  Dr. Kwak’s scholarly work on end-of-life care and caregiving has been published in journals including American Journal of Nursing, The Gerontologist, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,  Journal of Gerontology, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, and Research on Aging.

A sample of Dr. Kwak’s  recent grants, select publications and professional work is highlighted below.

Recent Grants

2010-2012: Decisional Conflict at the End-of-Life: The Needs of Surrogates for Persons with Dementia. Total Funds:  $100,000. Source: Hartford Foundation - Hartford Faculty Scholars Program in Geriatric Social Work. (Role: PI)      

2010-2011: Surrogate decision support needs among caregivers of advanced Parkinson’s disease patients. Total Funds: $10,000. Source: Parkinson’s Research institute (PRI) of the Regional Parkinson’s Disease Center. (Role: PI)

Select Recent Publications: Peer Reviewed Academic Journal Articles

Kwak, J., Kramer, B., Lang, J., & Ledger, M. (in press). Challenges in end-of-life care management for low-income frail elders at the end of life: A case study of Wisconsin Family Care program. Research on Aging. doi:10.1177/0164027512446939

Maschi, T., Kwak, J., Ko, E. J., &  Ko, E., & Morrissey, M.B. (2012). Forget me not: Dementia in prison. The Gerontologist.doi: 10.1093/geront/gnr131

Kwak, J., Montgomery, R.J.V., Kosloski, K., & Lang, J. (2011).  The impact of TCARE® on service recommendation, use, and caregiver well-being. The Gerontologist, 51, 704-713.

Montgomery, R.J.V., Kwak, J., Kosloski, K., &  O’Connell Valuch, K. (2011).  Effects of the TCARE® intervention on caregiver burden and depressive symptoms: Preliminary findings from a randomized, controlled study. The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 66, 640-647.

Jang, Y., Chiriboga, D.A., Allen, J., Kwak, J., Salmon, J., & Haley, W.E. (2010). Willingness to use hospice among Korean American older adults, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 58, 352-356.

Fritsch, T., Kwak, J., Montgomery, R. J. V., Lang, J., & Basting, A.D. (2009). Impact of TimeSlips, a creative expression intervention, on nursing home staff and residents with dementia.  The Gerontologist, 49, 117-127.

Kwak, J., Haley, W. E., & Chiriboga, D. A. (2008). Racial differences in hospice use and in-hospital death among Medicare and Medicaid dual-eligible nursing home residents. The Gerontologist, 48, 32-41

Kwak, J., Salmon, J. R., Acquaviva, K., Brandt, K., & Egan, K. (2007).  Benefits of training family caregivers on experiences of closure during end-of-life care.  Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 33, 434-445

Kwak, J., & Salmon, J. R. (2007).  Attitudes and preferences of Korean American elders and caregivers on end-of-life care.  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 55, 1867-1872

Select Recent Publications: Book Chapters

Kwak, J. & Collet, E.P. (in press). Diversity at the end of life. In Werth, J. L. (Ed.), Counseling clients near the end of life: Practical perspectives on fundamental issues. New York: Springer. (Invited)

Kwak, J., Allen, J. Y., & Haley, W. E. (2011). Advance care planning and end-of-life decision making. In P. Dilworth-Anderson & M. H. Palmer (Eds.), Annual review of gerontology and geriatrics: Pathways through the transitions of care for older adults (Vol. 31, pp. 143-165). New York: Springer. (Invited)

Haley, W. E., & Kwak, J.  (2010).  Gerontology.  In I. B. Weiner and W. E. Craighead (Eds.), The concise Corsini encyclopedia of psychology  (4rd  ed.). (pp. 715-717).  Hoboken, New Jersey:  John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (Invited)

Selected Recent Reports

Montgomery, R.J.V., Kwak, J., Rowe, J.M., Jacobs, J., Lang, J., O’Connell Valuch, K., & Wallendal, M. (2010). Improving Options for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Their Caregivers in the State f Georgia: Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral® Project Final Report - July 1, 2007 – March 31, 2010. Prepared for the Georgia Division of Aging Services.

Kwak, J., & Kramer, B. (2009). End-of-life Care Coordination in the Wisconsin Family Care Program in Milwaukee County: A Case Study. Prepared for the Milwaukee County Department on Aging Care Management Organization.

Montgomery, R.J.V., Rowe, J.M., & Kwak, J. (2008). Tailored Caregiver Assessment and Referral TCARESM Project Progress Report: July 1, 2007 - June 20, 2008. Prepared for the Georgia Division of Aging Services.

Professional Work

Article Peer Reviewed
Research on Aging
The Gerontologist
The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Journal of Aging and Social Policy
Journal of Aging and Health
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Research on Aging
The Gerontologist

Professional Affiliations

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
Gerontological Society of America
National Association for Social Workers
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

View full vitae here