March 7, 2023


March is National Athletic Training Month, the perfect opportunity to celebrate and honor the extremely talented athletic trainers at our five comprehensive high schools in Irvine who are dedicated to the health, safety, and overall well-being of our student-athletes! 

These highly skilled professionals not only ensure students’ safety on and off the fields, but when emergencies arise, their expert training saves lives.  

When a 14-year-old student at Portola High School collapsed while she was running on the track, Head Athletic Trainer Kathryn Cleek-Geha and coach Brittany Frymire jumped into action. After assessing the situation, they immediately recognized the need to initiate care for the unresponsive student. They performed eight rounds of CPR and used an automated external defibrillator (AED) to bring back the young athlete’s pulse. After receiving follow-up medical care from EMTs and hospital staff, the Portola HS track hopeful was able to return to her sport thanks to the quick response of the athletic trainer.  

“As an athletic trainer, we must always be ready for an emergency to occur. We never know when an injury or illness might take place, therefore, being prepared at all times is a must. Whether it be a concussion, fracture or a cardiac arrest, something will happen, and we must be ready to act,” said Kathryn Cleek-Geha, MS, ATC; Head Athletic Trainer at Portola High School. “We need to make sure everyone knows what to do and act accordingly. We are on the sidelines for our athletes on some of their best days, and on some of their worst.” 

IPSF is proud and grateful to recognize the amazing everyday heroes, like Portola’s Cleek-Geha, at work every day on the sidelines of each of our Irvine high schools. Thanks in large

 part to the leading support from our long-term partnership with Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI), IPSF remains dedicated to providing sustainable annual funding for a comprehensive Athletic Trainer Program to ensure the health and safety of our student-athletes districtwide.    

Corporate partners like HOI share our strong belief in supporting the High School Athletic Trainer Program to ensure students receive first-class care from professional athletic trainers for all of their athletic pursuits. The program’s main focus is to help students identify risk factors, prevent injuries, provide appropriate medical treatment including rehabilitative services and referral support, and detect and correct health problems directly related to athletic performance, such as concussion risks.  

Please join us in celebrating and recognizing the athletic trainer at your student’s school this month for their important and life-saving work.