Program Director: Dr. Carolyn M. Tucker

Dr. Tucker is the Florida Blue Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research at the University of Florida (UF) and the Richard and Thelma O. C. Barney Endowed Term Professor of Health Disparities in the UF College of Medicine (2008-present). She also is a Distinguished Alumni Professor, Professor of Psychology, Professor of Community Health and Family Medicine, Affiliate Professor of Pediatrics, Research Foundation Professor, and a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. She is the Director of the UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the National Medical Association. She is nationally known as the founder of the evidence-based Health-Smart Behavior Program to modify and prevent obesity, which is being used nationally in community centers, YMCAs, churches, and health care sites.

Dr. Tucker’s research focuses on culturally sensitive health promotion and health care, and on the integration of health promotion into medicine. She uses a combined individual and community-based/participatory health empowerment research approach. Her current research studies involve (a) developing and testing interventions to prevent and overcome obesity in at-risk communities and (b) empirically examining the links between patient-centered, culturally sensitive health care and health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities and the medically underserved. Her widely used, published Health Self-Empowerment Theory and Patient-Centered, Culturally Sensitive Health Care Model inform her research. She has over 85 published, refereed articles and has received over $10 million in research grants, including grants from NSF and R03 and R01 grants from AHRQ and NIDDK (Tucker PI).

Presently, Dr. Tucker is a principal investigator and director for the University of Florida – Florida A&M University Community Health Workers Research and Training Institute. She also is a co-investigator on an NIDCR center grant that funds the Southeast Center for Research to Reduce Disparities in Oral Health. Her published Motivators of and Barriers to Health-Smart Behaviors Inventory and her evidence-based Health-Smart Church Program are landmark health promotion tools being used nationally.

Dr. Tucker is most proud of the fact that under her mentorship, 43 doctoral students (47% of whom are racial/ethnic minorities) have received their PhD degrees and 40 graduate students (53% of whom are racial/ethnic minorities) have received their Master’s degrees.

Her many honors include receiving the 2009 Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. HHS Advisory Committee on Minority Health, and the 2010 UF Outstanding Dissertation Research Mentoring Award.

Dr. Tucker received her clinical psychology doctorate in 1976 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her pre-doctoral internship was in clinical psychology at the University of Florida.

To read Dr. Tucker’s Research Program Description, please click here.

For more information on Dr. Tucker, visit www.psych.ufl.edu/~tucker