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FOKION AVGERINOS – DR. IKE: Athletic Director, Youth Mentor, and Healer

By on April 2, 2024

Fokion “Ike” Avgerinos, DC or “Dr. Ike” is paving the way for student athletics by bringing his expertise in chiropractic medicine to mentor and train student athletes in his community by specializing in Sports and Industrial injuries, as well as treating patients of all ages with musculoskeletal complaints and injuries.

Dr. Ike began his studies at Hofstra University, and developed his specialty in Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa.  He began his work in November 1994, and is now in his 30th year of practice. In 1986, he started working for Dr. Steven A. Teran, a Chiropractor, as a Chiropractic Aide, and his journey was inspired. He recalled his experience with great fascination:  “I was amazed at how Dr. Teran was able to treat patients just using his hands and some physiotherapy modalities.  I researched Chiropractic and decided that this was my future.”

While in Chiropractic College he met his mentor Dr. Mitch Mally, who developed an Extremity Technique that treats the extremities as well as the spine.  He had the privilege to be his first Preceptor Intern while in Chiropractic College and learned from him both in his seminars as a student and then assisting him teaching.  He believes that addressing the patient as a whole will help them recover from their injuries by addressing the extremities. He uses chronic neck pain and chronic low back pain, which many of us suffer from, as examples. With chronic neck pain, he evaluates the shoulders for any biomechanical dysfunctions. With chronic low back pain, he evaluates the foot/ankle joints.  The addition of therapeutic exercises and nutritional counseling completes the treatment plan for his patients.

So what is chiropractic and how is it different from traditional medicine, and how can it benefit an individual seeking this form of treatment? Well, one does not have to look far if they are looking for notable quotes that can explain the benefits of chiropractic. Dr. Ike provided a few that came to mind:

“Look well to the spine for the cause of disease.” –Hippocrates

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest the patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas Edison

“Chiropractic embraces the science of life, the knowledge of how organisms act in health and disease, and also the art of adjusting the neuroskeleton.” -Daniel David Palmer, founder of modern Chiropractic.


Chiropractic is a Greek word in origin and literally translates to “done by hand”. In 1895, David Palmer founded the healing benefits of chiropractic. It was his belief that nervous system controls the whole body. By treating the spine, several other illnesses can be treated. It is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, specifically the spine. Though they are not medical doctors, chiropractors receive similar training and schooling as do medical doctors. The best way to understand Chiropractic medicine is to understand it as a healthcare profession that emphasizes the body’s ability to heal itself by adjusting or manipulating other parts of the body to correct problems in spinal alignment, relieve pain, and assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself.  It is a whole-person, patient centered approach most often used to treat back pain, neck pain, joint pain, and headaches. Treatments can also include heat and ice, electrical stimulation, relaxation techniques, rehabilitative and general exercise, and nutrition/diet and lifestyle counseling.

Dr. Ike’s passion for his work in chiropractic extends to his community involvement as a leader in student athletics. His treatment of student athletes began when he returned to Holy Cross High School. A 1984 graduate, he treated the football team which he was part of while there, as a student Athletic Trainer.  His Coach Tom Pugh and Athletic Director Brother Francis Leary asked him if he would be interested in getting certified as a Student Athletic Trainer. He accepted the challenge and spent two weeks at the Bone & Joint Disease Hospital in NYC where he studied how to provide preventative and emergency care to injured athletes. He was the on-site doctor at Holy Cross High School from 2003-2017, and currently serves as the Medical Director of The Mary Louis Academy (TMLA), from 2014 to present.

In 2017, while traveling to the NYS Girls Basketball Championships in Glen Falls NY, Dr. Ike and the Athletic Director Mr. Joseph Lewinger discussed new ideas that could be implemented to enhance the Athletic Department and the students at TMLA. He recommended starting a sports medicine program that would introduce the students to the various healthcare professions involved in the treatment of Athletes. His pioneering idea would give students the opportunity to intern at leading medical institutions such as NY Langone and NY Presbyterian.

Two weeks later, he received an outline and proposal from the Athletic Director to begin a Diploma Designate Sports Medicine Program to be introduced to the students at TMLA.  He and his staff, which consists of a certified athletic trainer and a certified strength & conditioning specialist, started to create the program, a multiyear track for motivated students who are interested in pursuing careers in sports medicine, athletic training and physical therapy. The students work with TMLA Sports Medicine Staff to receive hands-on training. Entrance requirements into the program are highly selective. Students must earn a 90 or above GPA in Living Environment or Chemistry, and submit an application accompanied by an interview process with sports medicine staff.  Students enrolled in the Sports Medicine Program attend two lectures each month, complete labs and case assignments, and observe/volunteer up to 10 hours a week with the athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach. In their senior year, they get to participate in a 10-week outpatient clinical internship and patient case study presentation.

The program has seen exceptional growth since its inception under his guidance and supervision. His goal as the Medical Director at TMLA is to ultimately prepare student athletes to compete at a very high level of fitness.  The student athletes undergo sport specific strength training, have nutritional counseling, and their injuries are addressed immediately in order to return quickly and safely. Dr. Ike and his staff provide Baseline Concussion Testing prior to the start of their season to be able to quickly evaluate and determine the extent of their head injury so that they can be properly diagnosed and referred to a specialist for further evaluation. He also volunteers his time to provide examination and treatment at TMLA two days a week and attend as many sporting events as possible.

In the Fall of 2022, TMLA Diploma Designate Sports Medicine Program partnered up with NY Presbyterian Hospital. Senior interns are now able to observe in the NY Presbyterian outpatient physical therapy clinics.  The senior interns volunteer 100 hrs., which enables them to experience first hand how PT’s, OT’s, and other healthcare specialists examine and treat patients.  It will also allow them to decide if healthcare is in their future or not. Dr. Ike is especially excited about this achievement in the Sports Medicine program.  He has received tremendous support to establish a state-of the-art training room at TMLA and is deeply appreciative of the support he has received: “Within the first 2 years, with the help of an amazing administration and donations from various organizations, TMLA has a state-of-the art Athletic Training room with physiotherapy modalities to rehab our injured student athletes, a fully equipped gym that our strength coach is able to provide sports specific strength and conditioning programs.”

Dr. Ike and his staff provide services to all the students and administration that need treatment.

The goal is not to treat injuries, but to prepare student athletes to prevent injuries, and be physically and mentally strong in order to avoid injuries and showcase their talent in a pain free manner. It’s a winning combination:  “Couple that with amazing Coaches and the result is CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS.”

He has big plans for the long-term future of this innovative sports training program. He is working to continue program growth and to introduce new technology for evaluation and treatments that will help student athletes avoid injury. And he has been incentivized by the students and former students to continue expanding this innovative approach to student athletics, as well as career builder: “Many of the student interns have chosen to pursue a career in healthcare.  The interns often visit me either at the games or my office to say hi and update me on their career path.” 

Dr. Ike is also very involved in his church community. His career took up much of his time that he couldn’t attend church as often as he liked, but the pandemic in 2020 changed all of that for him.  During the pandemic he started going to the Church he grew up in and loved, St. Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church in NYC.  Much had changed, including new iconography and a new Priest.  He was inspired to go more often: “Rev. Protopresbyter Panagiotis Papazafiropoulos is an amazing Priest.  His liturgy enabled me to forget the craziness of the Pandemic and made me realize how much I missed attending Church and serving.”

In November 2021, he was nominated and became a member of the St. Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church Parish Council, where he was elected to be Vice President.  He is both proud and humbled by this honor:  “I was baptized and was an alter boy at St. Gerasimos, spent my summers in Kefalonia, NEVER did I imagine to be able to serve my church in this capacity.”

In October 2023 Dr. Ike was part of the pasirh delegation to accompany Archbishop Elpidoforos to Kefalonia to celebrate St. Gerasimos.  It was an historical trip that started with a simple invitation by the Parish Council President Gerasimos Athanasatos and Mr. Vasili Kokossis, a Board Member and President of Cephalonian Association of AENOS to his Eminence to visit Kefalonia to Celebrate St. Gerasimos Feast Day. He was deeply moved by this experience:  “What an amazing experience.  I was able to accompany his Emminence visit the St. Gerasimos Monastery, a place that I attended as a child and have many fond memories of.”     

Dr. Ike is also looking forward to 2026. It promises to be an exciting year for St. Gerasimos Greek Orthodox Church, which will be celebrating its centennial:My co-workers on the Parish Council, Ladies of the Philoptochos and I have our work cut out for us. We are looking forward to having an AMAZING 100-year celebration to Honor our Patron Saint Gerasimos and ALL of the past members that worked hard to maintain our Beautiful church.”

When asked about any advice he had for our young readers, Dr. Ike takes his role as a youth leader reverently: “Every year I am responsible for the health and well being of about 200+ student athletes.  Many Seniors either athletes or interns ask me about what career they should choose.  I simply tell them that they need to choose a career that will make them happy.  Life has many surprises, good and bad.  Choose a career that you enjoy going to work, returning home in a positive mood because that will help maintain a healthy, happy home environment for your family.” 

As a doctor, healer, and youth leader, he applies the human touch that is so often needed in our approach to healthcare and leadership practices. If Chiropractic is a hands-on approach to treating the whole-person, Dr. Ike is a strong, hands-on advocate for the well-being and best interests of his patients and students. He feels blessed to to have been raised by “an amazing mother and godmother.” His patients may laugh when he tells them he treats them as if they were his mom, but he has no hesitation in telling them “If my treatment plan is good enough for my mom, then it will be good enough for you.”

And who wouldn’t trust a doc who has a great deal of respect and love for his mom?

He also attributes his success to the help and support his staff, Office Manager Christina Bova, business associate Drazen Ceniza, PT and the Chiro/PT aides Anthony, Vickie, Nicolette, Jafar and Carolina:  “My schedule is always changing due to my responsibilities with TMLA and St. Gerasimos Church. They somehow keep me going. A BIG THANK YOU to ALL my Patients, Friends and Family for your Trust and Support.”

Dr. Fokion Avgerinos, DC receives consistently good reviews and has a 5-star rating on Zocdoc.  His practice is located at 44-20 Francis Lewis Boulevard in Bayside, Queens and accepts all types of in-network insurance plans. For more information, their phone number is (718) 357-0297.

About Athena Efter