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Cara Wallace, Ph.D., LMSW, APHSW-C

Dorothy A. Votsmier Endowed Chair, Professor
Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing

Gerontology Certificate Coordinator
School of Social Work


  • Ph.D., Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington
  • M.S.W., University of Texas at Arlington
  • B.S.W., Texas Christian University

Research Interests

Wallace’s research focuses on issues related to end-of-life care within three related areas: barriers to care, quality of care, and educating students, professionals, and the general population to face issues surrounding death, illness, loss, and grief. Her work is informed by years of social work practice in hospice and hospital systems. Recent projects include NIH-funded work exploring outcomes and experiences of “live discharge” from hospice care, or rather when a patient stabilizes during care and is removed from services. A funded supplement from that study examines the social context for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias following a live discharge. In another project funded as part of Cambia Health Foundations Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program, Wallace is creating an instrument to measure a person’s perceptions of hospice care, which she plans to use to evaluate a community educational intervention about hospice using art and narratives. She is interested in the use of narratives as an educational intervention both within the community and among healthcare professionals and is committed to the promotion of interprofessional teamwork in practice, education, and research.

Publications and Media Placements



Honors and Awards

  • Gerontological Society of America, Social Research Policy & Practice Section, Fellow, 2024
  • Saint Louis University, Office for the Vice President of Research and Partnerships, Junior Faculty Scholarly Works Award, 2021
  • Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network’s Award for Excellence in Psychosocial Research, 2020
  • Saint Louis University, Graduate Student Association, Faculty Mentorship Award, 2019

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Gerontological Society for America (GSA)—Social Research, Policy, & Practice Section (SRPP), 2012 - present
  • Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW), 2012 - present
  • Social Work Hospice and Palliative Care Network (SWHPN), 2017 - present