Dr. Frank Fotis Karantonis
2023 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT UNDER 40 AWARD
Dr. Frank Fotis Karantonis is a family physician located at Pape and Danforth serving a largely Greek demographic since December 2014 sharing an office building with both his sister Dr. Mary Karantonis and his father Dr. Anastasios Karantonis.
He holds an Undergraduate degree with a Major in Honours Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and is a graduate of the University of Chicago, Family Medicine Residency Program. He is the winner of the teaching award from the residency program, voted by attending doctors and is also a winner of a teaching award from University of Chicago's medical program, voted on by his peers.
In 2014, Dr. Karantonis went on a medical mission trip to Swaziland, Africa where he worked in hospitals and rural clinics for a month.
Beyond his professional career, Dr. Karantonis has brought youth together with his involvement in the Youth Olympics and as a mentor through his Sunday church group. Supporting his Greek-Canadian community has always remained one of his passions.
Dr. Karantonis is the founder of a Journal Club for family physicians, called "Young Guns", designed to promote new learning amongst east end family doctors and specialists. This program was created to foster education and learning and to develop connections between local specialists and family physicians to promote good health outcomes for patients.
Dr. Karantonis is Director and Co-Founder of St. Irene's NEO Youth Group. This group was founded in 2014 and hosts weekly gatherings at the church to encourage young people's Greek Orthodox faith and values while building important social connections for our young people. Its mission statement is: "Empowering youth through faith and encouragement to create positive change in our community and their lives". The participants range in age from JK-post secondary studies. They meet on Sundays and discuss Orthodoxy and also the modern pressing issues of their generation, such as social media and anxiety. The older youth also meet socially and gather for community service work. Young people, who have grown up in the program, have now moved on to leadership and teaching roles in NEO. This group also script and create modern Christmas Pageants that bring joy to their parents, grandparents and the greater church community.
In addition to Dr. Karantonis’ work at St. Irene's, he is the President and Co-Founder of the Greek Canadian Games (GCG). This not-for-profit organization's mission statement is to connect and engage Greek-Canadian youth through sport and competition while promoting Greek culture, community and a healthy lifestyle. This annual event was initiated in 2016 and hosts up to 120 volunteers and hundreds of youth athletes. The organizing committee of young adults meet bi-monthly to run this event. The games have engaged ambassadors to act as role models including Greek Gold Medalists Voula Pantoulidou and Ioannis Melissanides, 2-time Silver Medalist Tasoula Kelesidou, and Canadian Paralympic Bronze Medalist Marisa Papaconstantinou. Beyond the games there have been community events including the awarding of scholarships to volunteers, Heritage Nights with the Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC organizations, including post-game sessions with athletes including 2019 NBA Champion, Norm Powell and Giannis Antetokounmpo, a Lifetime Honourary GCG Ambassador. They have engaged 25 community sponsors, including Hellenic owned businesses. There is a divine liturgy for the youth, a kalamatiano contest, and so much more, all culminating in the awarding of the cup to Artemis, Apollo, Athena or Hercules House. These games serve as a multigenerational reunion.
Fotis and his wife Katerina as well as the larger Karantonis family have been very active members, donors and supporters of the Greek community in Toronto for many years and continue to make an important impact as distinguished community leaders.