Health Services

The Garrison-Foster Health Center provides quality health care, health education, preventative services, and opportunities for experiential learning to Colby students. We are advocates for the life-long health and wellness of our community.

Our medical practitioners offer a wide range of services to address medical concerns. You should feel comfortable talking about any issues you have with our staff—they are trained to handle these issues professionally and confidentially.

Our staff includes a physician, a physician’s assistant and two nurse practitioners. If you are sick or injured, an appointment can usually be scheduled within 24 hours.

The Garrison-Foster Health Center is the only college health center in Maine accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). To achieve accreditation, we must meet nationally recognized standards for outpatient health care. Achievement of this recognition further supports our commitment to quality health care for the Colby student community.

Explore our services

The staff of Health Services is committed to keeping the Colby student body healthy. Our medical practitioners offer a wide range of services to address medical concerns. You should feel comfortable talking about any issues you have with our staff; they are trained to handle these issues professionally and confidentially. Appointments are required for all visits. If you are sick or injured an appointment can usually be scheduled within 24 hours.

Our highly trained staff includes a physician and three nurse practitioners and can provide the following general medical services:

  • Injury evaluation and treatment
  • Illness evaluation and treatment
  • Physical exams
  • OB/GYN exams
  • Respiratory condition treatment
  • STD testing
  • Travel health consultation
  • Sexual health consultation
  • Contraception
  • Referral for diagnostic testing

Alcohol and Substance Use

Have you ever thought that your drinking is causing you problems? Has a friend or family member ever expressed concern? This quick questionnaire can help you understand your drinking better as you decide if it is time to talk to someone about it.

Substance Use Quiz

If you have concerns about alcohol or other drugs, you are encouraged to make an appointment with Colby’s coordinator of alcohol and pther drug programs. The counselor can help you to assess the role that alcohol and/or drugs play in your life and make recommendations for further help or healthier consumption. She can also help you assist a roommate or friend who is using too much.

For further information, or to make an appointment, call the Health Center at 207-859-4460.

Alcohol and drug emergencies can be fatal. If you think that someone is in danger, call CER at 207-859-5911.

Alcohol can play a role in the lives of Colby students. The Garrison-Foster Health Center encourages students to comply with Colby College policy and Maine state law, which state that no student under the age of 21 may consume alcoholic beverages.

Drinking is a personal choice, and one for which you must assume full responsibility. Alcohol does not have to control your life and create problems for you. Should you choose to drink, the key is responsible moderation. Think before you drink, and make sure that drinking is your choice.

Legal medications taken without a prescription, and illegal drugs such as marijuana, can have many adverse effects on students. Students are strongly encouraged to resist engaging in these activities. Problems that may seem minor can quickly escalate when using illegal substances.

Athletic Training

The Colby College athletic training staff is committed to the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries occurring as a result of athletic participation. We have a strong team of certified athletic trainers and student workers who strive to provide the best possible care to student athletes at Colby. Our staff works closely with coaches, student athletes, and the medical staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center to ensure that student athletes are able to compete at the best of their abilities in a safe and healthy fashion.

Varsity student athletes can receive treatment Monday-Friday starting at 1:30 p.m. in the Nelson Center, located in the Alfond Athletics Center. A wide range of rehabilitative services are available, free of charge, including:

  • Cryocuffs
  • Game Ready
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Moist heat packs
  • Theraballs
  • UBE
  • Ultrasound
  • Various exercise devices (i.e., cycles, ellipticals, ergometers, and cuff weights)
  • Biodex Balance System
  • And many more

Contact the Nelson Center: 207-859-4970

Students who are not varsity athletes can receive rehabilitative services in the Garrison-Foster Health Center upon referral from a practitioner. For more information, visit our Physical Rehabilitation Services page.

Laboratory and Diagnostic

DonnaThe Garrison-Foster Health Center employs the services of a state-licensed and certified medical laboratory. Our lab offers a broad range of testing services, some of which can be performed in house. Many of our services come at no cost. Our staff are courteous and professional and will hold your information in the utmost confidence. All of our testing services are confidential, although some tests require further reporting to state and federal agencies. 

Upon referral from a practitioner, from Colby, or elsewhere, our lab staff can perform the following tests onsite:

  • Urinalysis
  • Hemoglobin/Hematocrit
  • Strep test
  • Monospot
  • Urine pregnancy test
  • ESR
  • Wet-Prep
  • HIV (oral fluid or blood)

Many tests are performed offsite, but our lab can collect the necessary samples, such as:

  • Chlamydia test (no cost)
  • Gonorrhea test (no cost)
  • Urine culture
  • Pap smear
  • Detailed blood test

Practitioners can order additional diagnostic tests, which are performed at MaineGeneral Hospital in Waterville. These tests include, but are not limited to:

  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound/CT scan
  • MRI
  • Bone density
  • EKG

For further information please call the Health Center at 207-859-4460. 

Mental Health Services

College life can be exciting and fast-paced. It can also be overwhelming, demanding and stressful.  Colleges across the country report an increase in the number of students in distress, and Colby’s community of high-achieving students is not immune to the pressures of 21st-century campus life.  Students are coming to health and counseling services with a number of serious issues such as: depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts; learning disabilities; identity issues; sexual assault/ abuse; drug and alcohol abuse; obsessive-compulsive, post-traumatic stress, personality, sleep, and eating disorder issues; as well as relationship problems, social phobias and grief and loss issues. Social, emotional and psychological concerns can negatively affect a student’s academic performance as well as have a negative impact on the entire campus community.

By providing mental health services, we can help a student better adjust to college life, which improves the likelihood of meeting their personal, academic, and career goals. Garrison-Foster Health Center providers work collaboratively with Colby Counseling Center staff to provide comprehensive, psychological and psychiatric services for all students. All services are confidential unless the well-being of the student or the community is a concern.

Student Health On Campus (SHOC) peer educators, through the Colby Active Minds program, provide outreach and programs to educate the student body and reduce stigma around mental health issues.

The success of Colby’s collaborative community depends on maintaining the health of all of our individual community members and bolstering the connections that ensure we look out for one another and ourselves.

Garrison-Foster Health Center providers include a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and a consulting psychiatrist.

Appointments can be made by calling 207-859-4460.

Helpful Mental Health Links

Nursing Services

Nursing services are available at the Garrison-Foster Health Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from noon to 8 p.m. during the academic year. Registered nurses are available to answer questions, evaluate injuries and illness, provide treatment, and administer immunizations. Our staff can refer students to a counselor, practitioner, athletic trainer, or local hospital if necessary.

Walk-ins are always welcome at the nursing station. You can also schedule an appointment with a nurse by calling 207-859-4460. Nurses can assist you with the following concerns and many more:

Illness

  • Cold and influenza management
  • Respiratory treatments
  • Evaluation of strep throat
  • Evaluation of ear infections

Injury

  • Evaluation of sprains and strains
  • Injury management
  • Evaluation of head injuries
  • Moist heat or ice application
  • Wound care

General Wellness

  • Immunization administration
  • Health education
  • Mental health concerns
  • Substance abuse concerns

Sexual Health

  • Birth control
  • Emergency contraception
  • Urinary tract infections

Nutrition

The staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center realize the importance of healthy eating and exercise. Not only will proper nutrition and frequent exercise make your body feel better, but they will also help you perform better in your studies. Eating well can be difficult among the stresses of academic work, sports, activities, and an active social life, but a proper diet will help you to excel in all of these areas.

The Garrison-Foster Health Center employs a nutrition consultant who is a registered dietician (RD) to help students with any questions or issues they may have. If you wish to meet with our nutrition consultant, you must obtain a referral from a practitioner or counselor. The nutrition consultant is available in the health center on a part-time basis during the academic year.  To arrange for a referral, call the Health Center at 207-859-4460.

Eating Disorders

The staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center take a team approach to eating disorders, utilizing a counselor, medical practitioner, and a registered dietitian. This is considered the most effective approach for recovery from eating disorders. Our eating disorder team has been trained by the Mainely Girls program so that they can best assist Colby’s students who have eating issues. While we do not offer a treatment center, our eating disorder team assists students to:

  • Identify personal eating issues
  • Set goals for healthy eating
  • Strategize to achieve these goals
  • Seek counseling to assist with coping skills
  • Seek further treatment
  • Continue in a recovery program with his or her primary care physician

Physical Rehabilitation

rehab

The staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center is committed to providing students with the best care available. After sustaining an injury, some students may require rehabilitation in order to aid the process of healing. Some rehabilitation services can be handled by our certified athletic trainers. If more advanced rehabilitation, or physical therapy, is required, our practitioners may refer a student to a local hospital or physical therapy center in Waterville.

A wide range of rehabilitative services are available, free of charge, including:

  • Cryocuffs
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Moist heat packs
  • Theraballs
  • Ultrasound
  • Various exercise devices (i.e., cycles, ergometers, and cuff weights)
  • Game Ready

Appointment Scheduling

Upon referral from a practitioner, students may make an appointment with one of our certified athletic trainers. Rehabilitation services in the Garrison-Foster Health Center are available by appointment only. Our staff members are available for appointments Monday-Thursday 9-11:30 a.m. To schedule an appointment, call the Garrison-Foster Health Center at 207-859-4460.

Varsity student athletes can meet with athletic trainers in the Nelson Center, in the Alfond Athletic Center, during the afternoon. For more information, visit our Athletic Training Services page.

Winslow Pharmacy provides medication delivery service to Colby College. Any prescription can be filled through Winslow Pharmacy, not just prescriptions ordered by the Garrison-Foster Health Center.

For delivery of monthly maintenance medications previously filled at another pharmacy, you can contact Winslow Pharmacy.They can have your prescription transferred and delivered to campus for your convenience.

Call Winslow Pharmacy at 207-872-7979 for more information, or visit their website.

Self-Care Services

SelfHelpMed

A variety of free, self-care medications are available in the health center entrance and in the Nelson Center athletic training room. We also offer free condoms and dental dams in the health center.

Flu kits can also be obtained free of charge in the health center. Before using any of these products, check all product warnings. The Colby Bookstore carries a variety of over-the-counter medications and first-aid supplies (Bookstore Medications).

Medications and Wound Care

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil)
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Nasal decongestant
  • Cough drops
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Band aids

Contraceptives

  • Condoms
  • Dental dams
  • Latex-free condoms and dams are available from a nurse by request

Flu Kits

  • Soup
  • Gatorade
  • Crackers
  • Ibuprofen

Sexual Health and STD Testing

The staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center realizes that sexual health can be a very sensitive topic. You should feel comfortable talking about any issues that you may have with our staff; they are trained to handle these situations professionally and confidentially. Our staff provides counseling and medical services to all students. Students of any gender, sexual orientation, or sexual preferences should feel comfortable receiving services at the Garrison-Foster Health Center. Our services include:

  • Nonspecific sexual health care from trained professionals, including:
    • Physical exams for men and women
    • Gynecological exams for women
  • Free pregnancy testing performed at the Garrison-Foster Health Center’s certified lab
  • Contraception including:
    • Free male and female condoms
    • Prescription birth control pills
    • Dental dams
  • Emergency contraception (also known as the “morning-after pill” or “plan B”)
  • Free and confidential STD testing (including HIV testing)
  • Safer sex and abstinence information
  • Sexual assault assistance
  • Sexuality counseling including:
    • Gender identity counseling
    • General sexual health counseling

STD Testing

The Health Center follows the CDC recommendations when deciding on which STDs to screen for.

We offer one free test each year for the following:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • HIV

Testing for other conditions can be ordered. The laboratory performing the test will charge you or your insurance company. Please be sure to let us know how you prefer to be billed at time of testing.

Online Resources

The following links provide general information on a wide range of sexual health topics. These sites also provide additional information about sexually transmitted diseases and their symptoms.

Remember: these sites are for informational purposes only. You should always contact a practitioner if you think you may have an STD. Testing at the Garrison-Foster Health Center is free and confidential.

Travel Health

Many students choose to participate in Colby College’s wonderful Off-Campus Study programs. Some Colby students choose to travel abroad on their own to pursue other interests. The Garrison-Foster Health Center provides information and services to prepare students for healthy and safe travel.

To schedule an appointment, call the Health Center at 207-859-4460. All appointments should be made 4-6 weeks prior to the due date of your paperwork. You should bring any vaccination records that you may have from previous travel to your consultation.

Services

  • Healthy and safe travel tips
  • Travel consults for country-specific needs
  • Prescriptions for travel-related medications
  • Immunization reviews
  • Vaccinations
  • Referrals to a yellow fever clinic

Women’s Health

The Women’s Health Program at Colby’s Garrison-Foster Health Center strives to provide a comprehensive, health promotional service, which includes counseling, education, and examination services. All of our services are free of charge and completely confidential.

Appointments for women’s health services last 30-60 minutes; students are encouraged to ask any questions that they may have about their health and well-being.

Our confidential and comprehensive services include:

  • Alcohol counseling
  • Breast examinations
  • Contraceptives counseling and administration (including emergency contraceptives)
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Lesbian and bisexual counseling and care
  • Menstrual cycle disturbance examinations
  • Relationship counseling
  • Routine physical examinations
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Sexuality counseling
  • STD and HIV testing and counseling

For further information, or appointments, please call the Health Center at 207-859-4460.

Contact Information, Hours and Appointments

Health Center appointments can be scheduled by phone, 207-859-4460, and press 1, or in person at the Garrison-Foster Health Center during office hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For your convenience, appointments for routine visits and acute care can be made on-line through the Student Health Portal at any time.

We are generally able to accommodate same-day visits for acute illnesses and injuries. It is best to call before 10 a.m. or check availability through the Student Health Portal if you would like a same-day appointment as they are typically available earlier in the day. Routine travel visits, physical exams, or gynecological appointments should be scheduled 1-2 weeks in advance.

Most of our visits take 30-60 minutes, check in to check out, so please allow yourself time when you are planning your visit. Whenever possible, we try and honor requests for specific providers.

Making an Appointment

Schedule an appointment by phone or in person during the office hours listed above. Appointments for many types of visits can be made online through your Student Health Portal. In the event you cannot find what you need through the portal, we encourage you to call or stop in to schedule a visit.

Cancelling and Rescheduling Appointments

Cancellations and reschedules can be made by phone or in person as indicated above. We respectfully request that you notify us 24 hours in advance, if at all possible. This allows those appointment times to be utilized by other students.

Referring a Student for an Appointment

While we are happy to assist concerned others (parents, faculty/staff, peers) with referring a student to the health center, we require students to contact us directly to schedule their own appointments.

Online Resource Library

    About the Library

    Feel free to browse our Online Resource Library, which is sorted by topic.

    This information is provided as a means to encourage participation in your health and well-being and is not intended to replace consultation with a licensed professional.

    Common Illnesses

    The Garrison-Foster Health Center offers a full range of diagnostic services. You may be refered to MaineGeneral Hospital for further testing.

    General Well-Being

    The staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center can consult with you on any of these issues.

    Medications

    If you have questions regarding medication use and abuse please contact the Garrison-Foster Health Center to make an appointment with a counselor or practitioner.

    Mental Health

    Counseling services are available to all Colby students free of charge. All meetings are confidential.

    Nutrition

    Exercise and Nutrition for Athletes

    The Nutrition Counselor and the Sports Rehabilitation Department can consult with you about healthy eating and exercise.

    Nutrition and Weight Control

    Students can be reffered to the nutrition counselor by a practitioner or by a counselor.

    Sexual Health

    The following sites provide general information on a wide range of sexual health concerns. Remember: these sites are for informational purposes only. You should always contact a practitioner if you think you may have an STD. Testing at the Garrison-Foster Health Center is free and confidential.

    Substance Abuse

    There is an alcohol and drug counselor on staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center.