Dr. Fotini Kavadas
Dr. Fotini Kavadas is a Pediatric Allergist and Clinical Immunologist in Edmonton, Alberta. Her passion for contributing to her community and helping others maintain their heritage through language instruction was evident as she taught Greek for 6 years despite the stringent demands of attending medical school at the University of Alberta from which she graduated with Honours in 2003. She then relocated to Toronto to pursue specialty training in Pediatrics at the Hospital for Sick Children and subspecialty training in Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology. This experience prepared Dr. Kavadas for her next position as Clinical Assistant Professor at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary. In 2013, she relocated to Edmonton to be closer to her family and shortly thereafter, opened a busy pediatric allergy and clinical immunology clinic, while balancing being a mother of 3 small children. Dr. Kavadas attributes the success of her practice to the individualized care and attention she gives, bringing high quality family centered patient care to children with a wide range of allergic and immunologic disorders, in addition to making cutting edge allergy therapies developed in large research centres a realistic option for her patients.
Throughout her life, Fotini would represent her Hellenic Community at various events and at the age of 16 she began teaching at the Hellenic Heritage Language School. In 2014, she took on a more intensive role within the community and became Director at the Hellenic Language School. Under her leadership, the school grew from a population of approximately 30 to 120 within a few years - which included students from a satellite Greek language program that was set up in the neighboring city of Red Deer. Dr. Kavadas’ vision of a school encompassing the multiple colourful dimensions of the Hellenic culture quickly became a reality.
While Dr. Kavadas’ role as an academic leader evolved, she also became a community liaison as many of the newcomers made their first social connections with her, while others received her support to land their first employment opportunity in Canada, whether it was a position with the Hellenic Heritage Language School or providing a reference for an external opportunity. Her spirit of volunteerism was ever present in her role as she forfeited her salary to help maintain a low fee tuition which created an incentive for anyone, regardless of their financial situation, to participate in the school program. Students were assessed and placed in the appropriate level to support their learning and Dr. Kavadas tailored instructional material, theatrical scripts, and communication at a language level that was attainable for all students.
In September 2016, Dr. Kavadas co-organized the 4th Western Hellenic Education Conference, bringing together Hellenic language experts and educators from around the country and initiated strong alliances with Simon Fraser’s Department of Hellenic Studies (funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation) which lead to the Hellenic Canadian Community of Edmonton in becoming an examination centre for Ellinomatheia and which now serves all of Alberta and Saskatchewan.