IRIS CHI was installed as the Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair for the Chinese Elderly in 2004 and currently directs the China Program. She also has a joint appointment in the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Prior to joining the USC School of Social Work, she taught at the University of Hong Kong for 17 years, in addition to chairing the postgraduate research programs and serving as the director of the Sau Po Centre on Aging.
An expert in elderly health and gerontology, Dr. Chi has participated in more than 60 studies and published more than 150 articles on such topics as long-term care, mental health chronic illness, community service, social support, dementia, Parkinson's disease and minimum data set (MDS). She has also been involved in seven cross-national collaborative research projects.
A career milestone came in 2004 when the city of Hong Kong honored Dr. Chi with the prestigious Bronze Bauhina Star for her public and community service with the city's aging population. She has also earned a Certificate of Merit for Housing Research from the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, the Outstanding Research in Gerontology Award from the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology and the Best Research of the Year Award from the Hong Kong College of General Practitioners. As a result of her extensive work and expertise, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government appointed her to the Elderly Commission, a post she held for seven years.
Dr. Chi is an honorary professor, member, consultant and advisor to more than 30 local and overseas elderly-related organizations such as the World Health Organization, Peking University and University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Among the organizations funding her efforts to provide professional training for elder care, training and accreditation for standardized care need assessors are the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charitable Foundation; Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; China National Aging Committee, People's Republic of China; and Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau, People's Republic of China.
She is also an expert reviewer and editorial board member for The Gerontologist, International Journal of Social Welfare, Journal of Social Work Practice, Evaluation and Geriatrics and Gerontology International. In addition, Dr. Chi serves on the Commission on Curriculum and Educational Innovation for the Council on Social Work Education, chairs the nomination committee for the International Association of the Schools of Social Work and was appointed an external examiner for Women's College in Beijing. Most recently, she was elected a national research mentor for the Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholars Program and appointed to the National Program Advisory Committee for the Hartford Doctoral Fellows.
A frequent lecturer in many universities throughout Asia, Dr. Chi presently teaches aging-related courses in the USC Master of Social Work program.