Sports medicine at Colby provides quality health care, health education, preventative services, and opportunities for experiential learning to individuals of the Colby community. We support diversity, equity, and access to care and are advocates for the lifelong health and wellness of our community.
Meet the Staff
About Sports Medicine
In 1959 Dr. Clarence Dorr, medical director at Colby College, had a vision for a health care model that combined student athlete care within health services. With the hiring of Carl Nelson, athletic trainer and physical therapist, Colby College sports medicine was created. Under Nelson’s leadership, sports medicine and health services became fully integrated. Throughout his tenure, Nelson expanded services, increased staffing, and improved the sports medicine facility, always with the focus on student athlete care. Today, the sports medicine staff incorporates all aspects of health services to ensure the highest quality care for 32 varsity sports teams and for rugby.
Colby has a strong team of six certified athletic trainers who strive to provide the best possible care to all student athletes. Our AT staff works closely with student athletes, coaches, the strength and conditioning staff, and the medical staff at the Garrison-Foster Health Center to ensure that student athletes are able to compete to their potential in a safe and healthy manner.
Dr. Paul Berkner is director of health services at Colby and has served in that capacity since 2004. He is a founding board member and the current president of the Maine Concussion Management Initiative at Colby College. In addition, he is chair of the Medical Aspects in Sports Safety Committee for the New England Small College Athletic Conference. He is an associate clinical professor at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and a researcher in biology at Colby. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) from the University of New England: College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in pediatrics at Morristown Memorial Hospital, a Columbia University affiliate. Dr. Berkner specializes in pediatrics and college health.
Sports Medicine Physician
Dr. William M. Heinz is a medical orthopedist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related concussions and musculoskeletal injuries. He received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in primary care sports medicine, where he sub-specialized in shoulder injuries. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Sports Medicine. He is cofounder of the Maine Concussion Management Initiative and is the immediate past chair of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the National Federation of State High School Associations. He also serves on the Maine Principals’ Association Sports Medicine Committee.
Sports Medicine Fellow Physicians
The Sports Medicine Department has a formal collaborative agreement with the Evergreen Sports Medicine Fellowship (part of the Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency) to provide an educational/training site for Sports Medicine Fellow Physicians. The assigned fellow physicians are on campus two afternoons a week and on weekends at assigned varsity/rugby sports contests.
Athletic Training Student Interns
Educational opportunities are provided for senior athletic training students from accredited programs within the state of Maine to come to campus and work under the direct supervision of the staff-certified athletic trainers. One AT student intern is on campus each semester. This provides these AT students with both valuable “in the field” sports medicine situations and general medical experiences with practitioners at the health center. The athletic training student interns give back to the local medical community by providing a formal sports medicine presentation at the completion of the semester. We have formal agreements with athletic training curriculum programs at the University of Maine, Presque Isle, the University of Maine at Orono, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of New England to provide athletic trainer students.
Athletic Training Room Student Workers
Colby students have a unique opportunity to work closely with Colby’s athletic trainers. All student workers are certified in first aid and CPR/AED. Student workers assist the athletic trainers with the day-to-day operation of the Nelson Center Athletic Training Room. Student workers often assist athletic trainers in pre-game and post-game setup of equipment and supplies. While these students do not directly provide rehabilitative services to student athletes, they do gain firsthand experience in the field of sports medicine by closely observing the athletic trainers. These students are always available to provide aid in an emergency situation.
If you are interested in becoming a student worker with the athletic training staff, please contact Chris O’Toole, ATC.