Dr. Amy Delong
Ho-Chunk House of Wellness
When her parents—both originally from Wisconsin—were still teenagers, Amy grew up in a Navy family, moving between Virginia, Connecticut, South Carolina and Michigan.
During the fifth grade and living in Michigan, her parents divorced. During middle school years, Amy watches her mother overcome alcoholism and poverty. Food and clothing were sometimes difficult to come by. Amy’s mother gets work in an auto factory; Amy decides she wants to find more fulfilling work for herself.
Though Amy participated in athletics, like basketball, volleyball, and softball, in high school Amy takes up running. Running carried her through many of her life’s hard moments, particularly in college and medical school. “Running is my mental health,” says Amy. “It’s a huge part of my spirituality.”
During her second semester at the University of Michigan, Amy decides to take a few sciences classes, a subject she always had enjoyed. She begins taking premed courses to see if she liked them. Amy would end up getting a degree in Biology from the University of Michigan.
One summer during college, Amy began working at a hospital through the Youth Corps. Though she starts this job doing basic filing work, one female physician takes Amy under her wing; she learns how to draw blood and is exposed to the hospital setting. The hospital later hires her for part-time work as a phlebotomist.
After Amy completes her degree, she works in the department of metabolic disorders for a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. While working in New Jersey, she is accepted to medical school in Duluth. “The lab director asked me to become permanent, to stay in the lab. I let her know that I had been accepted to Medical School, but because I was enjoying my life so much at that time, I said I want to defer going for another year. And she said no. She’s the one who said, ‘No, you need to go to Medical School. You need to go to school now.'”
During Amy’s first years in Med School, she “went out and had a lot of fun,” and she made it through her first year “by the skin of her teeth.” During her second year, she failed a pathology class. She spent a third year in Duluth finishing classwork and doing research based out of the Twin Cities on the White Earth reservation.
After finishing her Medical Degree, she completed a family medicine residency and a pediatric fellowship in Adolescent health; she earned a Master in Public Health in maternal/child health during her fellowship. After ten years spent in Minnesota for education and training, Amy returns to Wisconsin to work within and for her tribal community at the Ho-Chunk House of Wellness in Baraboo as a primary care physician, medical director, and public health professional. She has three beautiful children and continues to run and enjoy the outdoors.