Dr. Feng the Cardiovascular Physician
Dr. Jianwei Feng is a senior cardiovascular physician who practices medicine at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. Dr. Jianwei Feng has personally lived the American dream, coming from a humble family in rural China and rising through hard work and perseverance to become a respected cardiologist and leading community figure in Houston, Texas.
Born in a small village in China’s Shandong province, Dr. Feng’s parents were farmers. Early in high school, Dr. Feng’s father began to suffer from liver disease and treatment required a series of costly hospitalizations. At that time, Jianwei Feng set his mind on becoming a physician. He wanted to make a difference in his own family’s life but also play a part in lifting others out of poor health.
Becoming a doctor was no easy task when none of his 4 siblings had ever attended university and his parents could not afford the books needed to prepare for university entrance exams. But, Jianwei Feng was not deterred. He scored well enough on an exam to win a scholarship for the necessary set of books and went on to gain entrance to study medicine at Shandong Medical University in 1982.
At Shandong Medical University, Jianwei Feng specialized in cardio-thoracic surgery and after graduating with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1987, was awarded a cardio-vascular surgery fellowship at Shandong Medical University. Dr. Feng trained from 1987 to 1990 at Qilu Hospital, the university’s affiliated hospital in the city of Jinan and one of China’s top-ranked hospitals.
Dr. Feng valued his years of study at Shandong University. The university would later recognize his successful contributions to medicine and society by inviting him back to China to give the 2013 Shandong University commencement address.
Academic Study in the US
Getting to the US was no easy task in those days, when only 60 applicants per year from his entire province were allowed to take the TOEFL exam (Test of English as a Foreign Language). But, Dr. Feng secured one of those spots and became a doctoral student in 1992 at Texas A & M University’s world famous school of veterinary medicine in College Station, Texas. This represented a brand new field of study for him – molecular biology and immuno-genetic research.
Working with Professor Joe Templeton, Dr. Feng researched and developed disease-resistant genes. He developed a particular gene for bovine resistance to tuberculosis, for which he was awarded a patent. Dr. Templeton would later acknowledge that Dr. Jianwei Feng was one of the best students he had ever had. In 1996, Dr. Feng earned his PhD and became the only student to ever complete this doctoral work at the university in four years.
In 1996, Dr. Feng was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to study at Houston’s Texas Heart Institute under Dr. James Willerson, who was then the president of the University of Texas Health Science Center and would later become president of the Texas Heart Institute, following Dr. Denton Cooley.
This was followed by an opportunity in 1998 for another post- doctoral research fellowship at Cornell University, in association with Dr. Anthony Gotto, world-renowned cardiologist in lipid research and Dean of the Cornell University Medical School at the time. Upon completing his cardio-vascular research at Cornell, Dr. Feng did a year of residence training in internal medicine at Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, affiliated with Cornell University.
Medical Practice in Houston, Texas
In 2002, having received a University of Texas Medical School cardiology fellowship, Dr. Feng came back to work in Houston at the Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. He completed that work in 2005 and then opened his own cardiology practice in Houston.
With his extensive knowledge and experience in both cardiology and internal medicine, Dr. Jianwei Feng became an attending cardiovascular physician at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.
Because of his forward-thinking performance and top quality care, Dr. Jianwei Feng was recognized in 2012 as Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital’s Physician of the Year. He also served as the chairman of the cardiology department that year.
Strengthening ties between US & China
Dr. Feng has also functioned as a key community leader in Houston’s Asian American community. From 2003 to 2004, he served as president of the Shandong Fellowship Association for the Southern US. The 1000-member association facilitates building business ties between Houston and China, as well as celebrates Chinese cultural heritage.
Dr. Jianwei Feng has been instrumental in setting up an E-hospital, a tele-medical organization that serves both Chinese physicians and patients. It connects them to American medical experts, particularly in the Texas Medical Center, the largest world-class medical center of its kind. This service helps provide medical referrals for patients coming to the US for treatment.
To facilitate the exchange of culture as well as medical knowledge and technology, Dr. Feng established his own foundation – the Dr. Jianwei Feng Foundation. Through the foundation, Dr. Feng also recognized his unique position to build bridges between US and Chinese business parties through his deep ties with the Chinese business community in the US and his relationships with key influencers in China’s government and business world.
The government of the People’s Republic of China has recognized Dr. Feng for his contribution in training hundreds of director-level professors and physicians. In fact, in February 2017, the Chinese government bestowed a great honor upon Dr. Feng by appointing him as one of only 38 overseas delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). He was the only physician invited to attend from overseas.
Giving back to China & Community
As part of his desire to give back to his home country of China, Dr. Jianwei Feng started to coordinate an exchange program for Chinese scholars to come to the US to study. He also developed his own organization, the Hopson Medical Education and Development Organization, to provide medical education exchange opportunities, particularly for medical students in Houston’s Texas Medical Center.
Dr. Feng has personally taken many trips to China to provide educational training, recommend medical education reforms and even provide surgery. He has taught and served at Shandong University and its affiliated hospital, as well as universities in Beijing, Jinan and Qingdao. As a renowned cardiologist, he has served as private cardiologist for many of China’s top leaders, providing medical care both in China as well as at his practice in Houston. He even served as former private physician for the formal Chinese President Jiang Zemin, during his 2002 visit to Houston.
In philanthropic work, Dr. Feng established the AZQ Heart Foundation in 2012, a nonprofit organization that provides funding to give Chinse rural children free heart surgery. Each year, approximately 10 children receive help from the foundation.