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China Honors Professor’s Elder Efforts

USC researcher Iris Chi – a 'force in the development of social work in China' – earns a coveted award for her work with older adults in Hong Kong.

October 12, 2004

By Cynthia Monticue
Originally published by the USC News Service on Oct. 12, 2004.

USC researcher Iris Chi has been awarded the Bronze Bauhina Star by the People’s Republic of China for her meritorious public service with the elderly in Hong Kong.

Chi holds the Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair for the Chinese Elderly in the USC School of Social Work.

She is among 376 honorees on the 2004 Honours List awarded medals to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Hong Kong’s reunification with China.

Chi was honored Oct. 9 in Hong Kong for her contributions to the development of numerous policies and services for older residents.

“Iris has been a powerful force in the development of social work in China, and this is just one more well-deserved recognition of her contributions to social welfare and human well-being,” said Marilyn Flynn, dean of the School of Social Work.

The Bronze Bauhina Star is a highly coveted award given by the Hong Kong government, recognizing those who have provided distinguished, outstanding and long-term service to the community or to their individual fields.

An expert in elderly health and gerontology, Chi has participated in more than 50 studies and published more than 150 articles on topics including long-term care, mental health chronic illness, community service, social support, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

She is the recipient of three research awards, including the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology’s Award for Outstanding Research in Gerontology.

In 1997, Chi was appointed a member of the Elderly Commission by the Hong Kong government, and she has been the director of the Sau Po Centre on Aging at the University of Hong Kong since 1999.

She is also an expert reviewer and editorial board member for The Gerontologist, Journal of Social Work Practice and Evaluation and Geriatrics and Gerontology International.