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 5 years ago 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.

unknown image.jpeg

Elise Englert

Patient Education and 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.



Clinical Care Nurse Manager

Sarah is our clinical care nurse manager.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 10.29.28 PM.png

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.


Dr. Laura Crespo Albiac

Flint Clinic Medical Director

Dr. Crespo Albiac is a board-certified family medicine physician. While living in Chicago, she was blessed to work with very diverse communities and was inspired by how family physicians broke through many barriers, including institutional and economic, to improve health in these underserved communities.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 10.23.45 PM.png

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.


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.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 10.30.29 PM.png

Wendy Dignan

Business Manager

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 all of our volunteers and coordinating Benjamin’s Closet.


Lori Smalley

Ultrasound Tech

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

Meet the Members of Our Team


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.


Rev. Tyler Cronkright

Assoc. Pastor, Family of God Mission

Tyler, is committed to support the continuing efforts to make prenatal and infant care available to those living in the surrounding communities. He and his staff are excited to have partnered with this ministry for the last five years and look forward to seeing what God has in store for the next five years.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 10.25.34 PM.png

Rev. Christian Jones

Executive Director, Franklin Ave. Mission & The Flint Mission Network

Christian, a missionary-at-large in Flint, and Father of two, is incredibly honored to partner with The Luke Clinic. He is excited to provide spiritual care at such a critical point in the lives of families.

Veen Headshot.jpg

Rev. Evan Veen

Franklin Ave. Mission Chaplin

Board of Directors

Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 11.39.11 AM.png

Sam Iaquinto

Chairman of the Board

Sam grew up in the city of Hamtramck and attended Lawrence Technological University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Industrial Engineering. He is an entrepreneur, who has started and run several successful companies. Sam has served Northfield Township for over 20 years on multiple boards including the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees.  Sam brings a business perspective to the Luke Clinic.

Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 11.37.02 AM.png

Carrie Bell, MD

Vice Chair of the Board

Carrie is a clinical associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her areas of practice include preventative care, minimally invasive procedures and surgical alternatives.  Carrie provides medical expertise to the Board to ensure the clinic follows best practices.


Cindy Fenske, DNP, RN

Secretary of the Board

Screenshot 2023-02-07 at 12.22.19 PM.png

Al Kaul

Treasurer of the Board

As a result of deeply held Christian beliefs to serve other people, Al has devoted his entire career working in the non-profit sector and volunteering on various non-profit boards.  Working with the Luke Clinic enables Al to be a part of a larger mission of serving the needs of people in our own backyard providing for their physical health as well as providing spiritual support.  Every human life has great value in the eyes of God.

unknown image.jpeg

Rev. Tyler Cronkright

Detroit Representative

Tyler, is committed to support the continuing efforts to make prenatal and infant care available to those living in the surrounding communities. He and his staff are excited to have partnered with this ministry for the last five years and look forward to seeing what God has in store for the next five years.

unknown image.jpeg

Olivia Crutchfield

Patient Representative

bottom of page