Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 6. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.

Michelle Feng, Ph.D.

Michelle Feng’s experience in the field of geriatric psychology has allowed her to understand the importance of addressing the mental health of older populations. She has stated that there are not enough mental health providers specializing in care for the aging population, which provides plenty of motivation for her work. 

After earning an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego, she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical science from the University of Southern California. Feng then gained experience treating veterans with physical and emotional difficulties during an internship at the Boston Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and she completed a fellowship in geropsychology.

As an emerging expert in her field, Feng was appointed a teaching fellow in psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and a clinical fellow in psychology within the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

After completing these fellowships, she began working in long-term care facilities, treating residents with chronic health conditions. During this time, Feng also provided clinical supervision to graduate psychology students at USC. 

In her current position as chief clinical officer at Executive Mental Health in Los Angeles, Feng leads a team of clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists. In 2020, she enacted a clinical system protocol that gathered data about patient/resident satisfaction ratings and revealed that the company earned a 97.8% satisfaction rating. She also initiated a program to help retain mental health staff members. As a result, new hire departures decreased by 50% in the two years following her becoming chief clinical officer.

Feng is able to balance her clinical and executive duties with her scholarship and has presented research on various aging topics, including geriatric care, chronic pain, behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia, and evidence-based therapy techniques for long-term treatment. 

Feng also has served as assistant clinical professor at UCLA, is a reviewer for multiple scientific journals, and is a member of the Asian and Pacific Islander Dementia Care Network. 

Colleagues have praised her not only for her professional achievements and dedication to her chosen field but also for her kind and compassionate leadership. They assert that she is a true thought leader and groundbreaker in the field of geriatric psychology and cite her commitment to improving the mental health of older adults.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.