top of page

Our History
We Provide Care

The Luke Clinic has been serving the needs of the local population in Detroit since 2016.

The infant mortality rate in Detroit has been on the rise for the last 6 years, peaking at 16.7 deaths per 1000 births in 2018. The national average is 5.6 deaths per 100 births. 

The problem is not lack of healthcare - the city boasts some of the largest health systems in the country. 

The problem is that these women do not use them or receive prenatal care of any kind.

The reasons why are complex, but the one we have decided to address is the lack of a trusting, caring relationship between the patient and the provider. We believe that building a trusting relationship is the basis for establishing and maintaining prenatal care throughout a pregnancy. 

Instead of the patient being forced to enter the providers culture, we have chosen to enter and adapt to theirs. 

The clinic was founded as a great compassion and great commission ministry of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in 2016 in partnership with Family of God in Springwells, Detroit. 


Since then, the clinic has grown in size and reputation and provides services to families from around the Detroit Metro Area and beyond. 

In Fall 2021, we brought everything we have learned in Detroit to Flint and opened a new prenatal and infant care clinic in partnership with Franklin Avenue Mission, where we now serve families in the greater Genesee County Area.


Meet the Members of Our Team



Katy Gold_edited.jpg

Katy Gold
Medical Director

Dr. Gold is a board-certified family medicine physician who has provided prenatal, labor and delivery, and newborn care for more than 15 years.  She serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, has a master's degree in social work, and completed two research fellowships.  Research interests include obstetrics, health disparities, and mental health.  Dr. Gold has volunteered at Luke since the clinic opened in 2016 and is passionate about helping Luke provide the highest quality of care, while ensuring patients are cared for with compassion and acceptance.  She loves working with the dedicated team at Luke and is grateful to be able to provide this care.


Sarah Zehnder
Clinical Care Nurse Manager

Sarah is our clinical care nurse manager. In the summer of 2022, She visited our Flint location and felt deeply moved and inspired to become a volunteer.  It only took one clinic for her to realize how much of a difference she could make helping the brave women and their families, more so than she did in the 15 years prior at the private clinic.  Soon thereafter, Sarah was hired as the Clinical Care Nurse for the Flint Clinic.  Due to staffing needs, Sarah took over care of our Detroit patients.  She feels so humbled to be a part of our patients' success in their pregnancy journeys.

Jennifer Wall_edited.jpg

Jennifer Wall
Medical Office Manager

Jennifer brings a wealth of experience in hands-on care in the community which combined with her background in business makes her a great fit for our ministry. Her ability to create lasting relationships with our moms provides the foundation on which our medical team can operate. Jennifer oversees patient relations.

Katie Cowan_edited.jpg

Katie Cowan
Medical Office Assistant

Katie's relationship with the Luke Clinic began when she volunteered in the childcare room at the Detroit Clinic.  Now she is often the first person patients get to meet.  Katie works tirelessly to make them feel welcomed and help them get situated and set up for success.


Elise Englert
Patient Education &
Mother and Baby Care Unit RN

Elise has a wide variety of nursing experience, and is currently working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse at Hutzel Hospital. She has a passion for caring for the underserved in Detroit, and loves teaching infant care classes to help the patients at the Luke Clinic reach their full potential as mothers. Elise is passionate about relationship based education classes, that meet patients during their pregnancy journey and come alongside them to optimize the health and wellness of their families.


Lori Smalley
Ultrasound Technician

Lori provides ultrasound services to our patients in both clinics and in the Mother and Baby Care Unit.


Rebecca Reid
Remote Lab Nurse

Rebecca believes that everyone should have access to affordable healthcare. Her work at the Luke Clinic and in migrant healthcare point to a passion for serving the underinsured. Rebecca has worked as a critical care nurse since 2020. She holds a BSN from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a BA from Brigham Young University. She is a licensed RN in Michigan and Missouri. Rebecca has been named Nurse of the Year twice and has received numerous Daisy Awards for exceptional care. She is proficient in Swedish and Spanish, is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time in nature and with animals.

Nicole Dietrich_edited_edited.jpg

Nicole Dietrich
Medical Assistant

Nicole is deeply passionate about healthcare and social justice. She has always been drawn to areas where she can make a tangible difference in people’s lives. She has worked as a Medical Assistant for 25 years an OB care has always had a special place in her heart. Nicole believes every woman deserves access to comprehensive obstetric care, regardless of her socio-economic status or background.

She is particularly drawn to the mission of The Luke Clinic because they prioritize the well-being of mothers and babies above all else. By joining forces with The Luke Clinic, Nicole can contribute her skills and expertise to provide essential prenatal care, childbirth support, and postnatal services to women in need.

unknown image.jpeg

Open Position

Open Position


Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 10.23_edited.jpg

Penny Armbruster
Executive Director

Penny has a background in international business, human resources and ministry start ups. Her lifelong desire is to celebrate and encourage women as they seek to "be all things" to the people they love and care for. Most recently Penny had been blessed to serve women in South West Detroit in her role as Executive Director at the Luke Clinic. She was instrumental in the visioning and initial startup of the clinic 5 years ago and is passionate about serving those who are most vulnerable in our society. By providing a safe and loving environment for women to find support, encouragement, and excellent medical care during their pregnancies she has found her dream vocation.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 10.30_edited.jpg

Wendy Dignan
Office Manager & Development Assistant

Wendy brings a heart for ministry and a knack for getting things done. She is extremely efficient and fills a key role within our organization bringing together the medical and business teams. She seamlessly runs the organization making everything happen with minimal stress and a joyful heart. She is also responsible for coordinating the volunteers and managing the reception desk on clinic days.

Kristin Myer_edited.jpg

Krisitin Myher
Finance Manager

Kristin joined us initially to support the business office overseeing our bookkeeping. She soon became indispensable to our business team and generously stepped in to provide leadership in finance. Kristin provides her talents as a way to facilitate ministry. A woman of faith who desires to serve in various ministries, Kristin brings a calm and experienced leadership style that our team greatly appreciates.

katina sitting in green and peach_edited

Katina Bryant
Clinic Manager

Katina, a native of Detroit, MI, is our new Clinic Manager who brings 15 years of administrative experience, 7 years of managerial experience and over 20 years of experience dealing with underserved and at-risk populations. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona Global in Applied Behavioral Sciences and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton. Together with her education, experience, and the Luke clinic staff, she endeavors to help provide quality healthcare, save lives, empower women, and build faith and stronger families. 

Sarah and Sevynn 2_edited_edited.jpg

Sarah Wylie
Prayer Lead

Sarah‘s always willing to lend a hand where needed on clinic days. You can find her building relationships with patients by assisting with their babies and children, giving hand and back, massages, and praying with patients and staff. Sarah is a licensed massage therapist with a heart to serve others.

Linda Schilbe_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Linda Schilbe
Baby's Closet Coordinator

Linda’s efforts at the Luke Clinic began by organizing donations in Whitmore Lake.  She eventually became involved on site at the Detroit Clinic.  This opportunity soon became her passion to help families at clinic get wipes, diapers and clothing.  Linda is supported by many people in the community and rewarded by the smiles she receives when a new mom gets a baby bundle.

Ministry Partners


Rev. Jim Hill
Sr. Pastor, Family of God Mission

Pastor Jim’s heart has been for the people of Southwest Detroit for several decades. He is thrilled to see the growth in ministry partnerships at Family of God and is extremely  supportive of the work of the Luke Clinic.

Nick Gapski_FOG_edited.jpg

Rev. Nick Gapski
Assoc. Pastor, Family of God Mission

Pastor Nick was recently ordained in 2023. In his short time at Family of God, he has been blessed to see the love and compassion of Christ in how the Luke Clinic serves the community. He is excited to continue to support the Luke Clinic.


Rev. Matthew Canion
Pastor Living Water Church & Luke Clinic Chaplain

Pastor Matt has been an LCMS pastor since 2005.  During the years he has worked alongside other life-affirming agencies and has served as chaplain for other agencies. At the Luke Clinic, Matt enjoys seeing growth in the people who walk through the door.  The personal care that is sown to each individual is an inspiring sight and a reflection of our creator's love.

Board of Directors


Rev. Tyler Cronkright

Tyler, is committed to support the continuing efforts to make prenatal and infant care available to those living in the surrounding communities. He is excited to have partnered with this ministry since 2016 and looks forward to seeing what God has in store for the future.

Zazove, Philip 23_edited.jpg

Dr. Philip Zazove

Philip is Clinical Professor Emeritus and past George A. Dean, M.D. Chair of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan.  He has been a strong supporter of The Luke Clinic since we opened in 2016. Philip is one of country’s first deaf physicians, which triggered his interest in diversity and health inclusion.  His main area of research and clinical focus has been health services for the underserved community of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Philip practiced for over 40 years, including inpatient medicine and obstetrics.

Ken Vandenberg_edited.jpg

Ken Vandenberg

Ken's extensive background in finance provides a great resource to the board and The Luke Clinic.


Cindy Fenske, DNP, RN

Cindy is the creator and Executive Director of the Center for Simulation and Innovation.  She had a lengthy career as a faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Nursing, where she was recognized for her innovative teaching methods with several honors.  Throughout her tenure at the University of Michigan, she was a team member in the development and implementation of their robust simulation program.  In 2015, Cindy started the nursing program at Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA), which included the planning and realization of a state-of-the-art simulation center and simulation-based curriculum. As a professor at CUAA, she has been heavily involved in leading and mentoring others in the establishment and integration of all types of simulation, including in-person, video recorded, and augmented/virtual reality, as a highly effective teaching and training tool within any discipline of study or field of training. Cindy has presented nationally on topics related to the use of experiential and immersive simulation training and its positive effects on learning, retention, and judgment development. 


Dr. Katie Mehari
Member at Large

Katie is an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School. She completed both her medical degree and Ob/Gyn residence at the University of Michigan and then joined the Women’s Health division at Michigan Medicine in 2015. Katie's clinical practice includes general obstetrics and gynecology with special interest in preventative and prenatal care as well as patient education. She believes in the mission of the Luke Clinic and appreciates the opportunity to serve in a board member capacity and to contribute medical expertise from an obstetrics standpoint.

unknown image.jpeg

Open Position
Member at Large

I’m a paragraph. Double click me or click Edit Text, it's easy.

Board of Directors Emeriti

Sam Iaquinto

Karen Adkins-Bley

Steve Zwart

Olivia Parker

Christine Chauvin

Jill Heiser

Tom Leeds

Dr. Carrie Bell

Sean DeFour

Al Kaul

bottom of page