Dr. Allyson Shirtz Howe '94

Physician, InterMed; Head Physician, U.S. Women’s Ice Hockey Team

Dr. Allyson “Ally” Shirtz Howe ’94 began working with Team USA as a physician for the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Women’s World Championship in 2010. At the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, she served as a general physician for the U.S. Olympic Committee staff, high-level donors, former Olympians and family members. But as the head team physician, accompanying the U.S. women’s ice hockey team as they won gold at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was a dream come true.

“I wanted to be a hockey player when I was 10. I tried to get my dad to let me, but it didn’t fit in our family plan,” Shirtz Howe told the Portland Press Herald. Growing up in western New York, Shirtz Howe’s mother was a nurse and her father a leader in community service. “They showed me firsthand how caring for people in your community could make a difference.”

Shirtz Howe’s desire to make a difference led her to Hobart and William Smith, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She was a two-sport athlete, earning All-America honors as a midfielder on the soccer team and playing small forward on the basketball team. A standout in the classroom as well, she earned a long list of scholarships and awards including NSCAA Scholar All-American praise.

After earning her medical degree from SUNY Buffalo Medical School, she entered the U.S. Air Force and began her active duty career as a resident in family medicine at Travis Air Force Base in California. In 2005, she was selected for a sports medicine fellowship training year through the Uniformed Services University. After leaving the Air Force, she joined the Air Force Reserve and later the Air National Guard, retiring with 20 years of combined military service.

Currently practicing family and sports medicine at InterMed in Portland, Maine, Shirtz Howe previously served as a team physician for American University, the U.S. Naval Academy, University of Southern Maine, St. Joseph’s College of Maine and for the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, she has taught family and sports medicine throughout her career, including at Andrews Air Force Base, the Maine Medical Center, Tufts University, University of Vermont and the University of New England.

Shirtz Howe, who grew up in Batavia, N.Y., was inducted into the Batavia Blue Devils Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2016, William Smith College welcomed her into the Heron Hall of Honor.