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Jung KwakJung Kwak

Associate 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

  • Advance care planning and surrogate end-of-life decision-making
  • Cultural diversity and family decision making at the end of life
  • Decision support for family caregivers of persons with advanced dementia
  • Long-term care policies and programs

Dr. Jung Kwak is Associate Professor of Social Work in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr. Kwak’s primary research areas focus on long-term care policy, caregiver support, and cultural diversity and family decision-making at the end of life. In 2010, she was selected as a Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar. Her recent funded research projects include a study on decision-support needs among caregivers of people with advanced dementia or Parkinson’s disease, a pilot study on a decision-support coaching program for family caregivers, and a study of the effects of personalized music listening on nursing home residents 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

Co-Principal Investigator: Evaluation of Music and Memory Program among Nursing Home Residents with Dementia. Submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) as a project application for Applying for Use of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) Funds for a total of$96,765, (January 2014-June 2015).

Principal Investigator: Salary for Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) Award funded by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Office of Undergraduate Research, for a total of $10,200 (For three students, Summer of 2014, Spring and Summer of 2013).

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

Polivka, L., & Kwak, J. (accepted for publication). The future of long-term care and the aging network. Generations.

Kwak, J., Wallendal, M., Fritsch, T, Leo, G. & Hyde, T. (accepted for publication). End-of-life decision making preferences among surrogates of persons with Parkinson disease. Southern Medical Journal.

Kwak, J., Ko, E.J. & Kramer, B.J. (2014). Advance care planning practice with elders of diverse ethnic backgrounds and needs. Health & Social Care in the Community, 22, 169-177. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12073.

Kwak, J., Kramer, B., Lang, J., & Ledger, M. (2013). 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 of 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

Reviewer
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

Recent Editorials, Reviews, and Interviews

  • Interviewed by Carolyn Kott Washburne for the September issue of the Milwaukee Magazine (2014).
  • Interviewed by Beth Stafford for upcoming article in the fall issue of the UWM Alumni Magazine (2013).

Media Appearance

  • Radio Program Interview - Interviewed by Stephanie Lecci for “Lake Effect” on Milwaukee Public Radio (aired on June 11, 2014) regarding a study on the effects of individualized music listening on nursing home residents with dementia.
  • TV Program Appearance – A panel member to discuss education and training of health care professionals working with older adults in the 4th Street Forum: Impending Tsunami, Part 2: As We Age, Who Will Care for Us? on a Milwaukee Public Television which aired on February 21, 2014(MPTV Channel 36.1) and February 23, 2014 (MPTV Channel 10.1).
  • Radio Program Interview - Interviewed by Stephanie Lecci for “Lake Effect” on Milwaukee Public Radio (aired on September 25, 2012) regarding research on family caregivers’ decision making about end of life care for terminally ill patients.
  • TV Program Appearance – A panel member to discuss end-of-life care issues in the 4th Street Forum: Dying Wisely and Well on a Milwaukee Public Television which aired on April 20, 2012(MPTV Channel 36.1) and April 22, 2012 (MPTV Channel 10.1).
  • Documentary Film Appearance - Consider the Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject (2011). The film documents the emotional, spiritual, physical and social burdens associated with historical shift that has occurred with dying and addresses issues related to communication and planning for end-of-life. Produced by Mike Bernhagen & Terry Kaldhusdal.

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