Sports Medicine

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.

picture of staff

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.

Athletic Trainers

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.

Team Physician

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.

Our Services

    Carl Nelson Athletic Training Room

    In-season student athletes can receive treatment Monday-Friday starting at 1:30 p.m. in the Nelson Athletic Training Center Athletic, located in the Alfond Athletics Center.

    Out of season student athletes are seen by scheduled appointment only with team assigned athletic trainer.

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

    • Injury evaluation
    • Preventative taping and wrapping
    • Wound care
    • Game Ready
    • Ultrasound
    • Electrical stimulation
    • Moist heat packs
    • Cryotherapy (i.e. ice baths, ice bags)
    • Cardio equipment (i.e. treadmill, elliptical)
    • Manual therapy (i.e. cupping, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, therapeutic massage)
    • Various rehab devices (i.e.cuff weights, Therabands, body blade, rebounder)

    Contact the Nelson Center: 207-859-4970

    Students who are not varsity or rugby athletes can receive rehabilitative services in the Garrison-Foster Health Center upon referral from a practitioner. For more information, check out our “Garrison-Foster Health Center” tab.

    Garrison-Foster Health Center

    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 provided by our athletic trainers.

    A wide range of rehabilitative services are available at the health center, free of charge, including:

    • Electrical stimulation
    • Moist heat packs
    • Ultrasound
    • Various rehabilitation devices (i.e., cycles, ergometers, and cuff weights)
    • Manual therapy (i.e. assisted stretching, therapeutic massage, active release techniques)
    • Foam rollers

    All students must be referred to rehabilitation by a Garrison-Foster Health Center provider. If more advanced rehabilitation is needed, students may be referred to formal physical therapy. Check out our “Physical Therapy Services” tab for more information.

    Physical Therapy Services

    MaineGeneral Physical Therapy provides services on campus within the health center. Students must be referred to physical therapy by a Garrison-Foster Health Center provider.

    Referrals to physical therapy are billed by the hospital to the student’s primary insurance. In some cases, an insurance referral by the student’s primary care physician may be required.

    MaineGeneral physical therapists evaluate each patient, create a specific rehabilitation plan designed for that patient, and work with the patient to achieve the best results possible. They can include exercise, manual therapy, stretching, use of exercise equipment, and home program activities. All patients are given education on the particular issues that impact their condition. For more information, call the Garrison-Foster Health Center at 207-859-4460.

    Massage Therapy Services

    The Sports Medicine Department oversees a contracted licensed massage therapist who provides services to in-season varsity student athletes in the Nelson AT Center offices one afternoon a week during the academic year. This service is also available one morning, every other week, at the health center. These appointments are done on a referral basis from either an athletic trainer or health center provider.

    Scheduling an Appointment

    Rehabilitation services, massage therapy services, physical therapy services and athletic training services in the Garrison-Foster Health Center are available by appointment only. Please call the Garrison-Foster Health Center at 207-859-4460 from 8 a.m. to 430 p.m. for more information.

    Athletic Insurance Information

    Colby College Athletic Insurance provides coverage after your own insurance has paid its portion. It only covers injuries that occur during official in-season practices and contests.

    If you sustain an in-season injury which requires medical care follow these steps:

    1. Let their athletic trainer know as soon as possible so they can assist with initiating a claim.
    2. Give the medical facility their home/personal insurance information.
    3. Provide the following information and tell them this is secondary coverage:
      BMI Benefits, LLC
      PO Box 511
      Matawan, NJ 07747
      800-445-3126 (P) 732-583-9610 (F)
    Policy Number: BAH-2000003-0817 (policyholder is the injured athlete)

    Questions regarding insurance should be directed to students’ athletic trainer or a member of the health center office staff at

    BMI Claim Form: Must be signed by students’ athletic trainer.

    Student Athlete Medical Documentation Checklist

    All varsity (per NCAA requirements) and rugby student athletes must have the following completed before their first team practice/activity in order to be cleared for participation:

    1. Health care provider physical exam

      All first year or first time varsity (NCAA requirement) and rugby student-athletes need to have their provider physical exam done after April 1, 2018. Athletic physical exams are NOT provided by Garrison-Foster Health Center. Please note your healthcare provider must complete the entire Required Exam For Athletic Clearance on the enclosed form in order to be cleared for athletic participation. The physical exam form can be found here.

    2. Pre-Participation exam Every year varsity athletes and rugby players must fill out the online Colby Sports Medicine Annual Health Questionnaire thru the Colby College portal. For fall sport athletes this will occur for in early August (winter and spring sport athletes will fill out this on line form in September). Upon arrival on campus the student athlete will meet at a scheduled time with an athletic trainer for medical clearance prior to participation in any practices/games/team testing activities.
    3. Sickle Cell Train Screening Documentation This only has to be completed once during an athlete’s career at Colby College. Instructions on how to complete baseline ImPact testing will be provided by the student’s athletic trainer prior to the start of their season.
    4. Baseline ImPact testing Instructions on how to complete baseline ImPact testing will be provided by the student’s athletic trainer prior to the start of their respective season. This is done for all first year/first time varsity and rugby student athletes.

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