FLINT, MI – As soon as “Queen” Murrell finished her free ultrasound hair and saw the hand of her unborn daughter, Queen’s five-year-old son Camden had an important thought.
“I want to see what I have in my stomach.”
She was sitting on her mother’s ultrasound with her two siblings, Kaiden and Justice, in the basement of Franklin Avenue Mission, where Detroit’s nonprofit Luke Clinic offers free care and medical care to children under 12 months without question. .
The Luke Clinic was started as a free prenatal care clinic, but has since become a full-service clinic with reference collaborations for resources across the Flint and Detroit area.
The faith-based organization began its mission to reduce child mortality in some of the largest medical operations in the state.
Through trust it became an organization that specializes in removing the limitations of medical care and other services.
“My Detroit patients tell me, ‘Miss Penny, you know, black men are afraid of the police. Black women are afraid of health care providers,'” said Penny Armbruster, executive director. .
In Detroit, where the clinic was set up, the infant mortality rate dropped dramatically from 16.7 deaths per 1,000 births to 1,000 births in 2019, but the issues affecting Detroit’s high rate are complex compared to other countries. .
Armbruster believes it is a matter of trust. Instead of introducing the patient to the provider’s culture, Luke Clinic leads the provider to the patient. That’s what they do with a mobile ambulance around Detroit
“The real key is to be able to remove barriers to care so that we can have them in the clinic regularly,” Armbruster said.
Queen, who was one of the first patients at the Luke Clinic in Detroit, said she probably wouldn’t be here today without the help of the clinic and Armbruster.
“It’s a blessing. … I was able to receive prenatal care at no cost, “she said.
Queen stays with her children at Mercy House, a shelter for women in Flint for young mothers and their children. Mercy House is another partner at The Luke Clinic and Franklin Avenue Mission.
The 32-year-old will have a fourth child in August. Camden, Justice and Kaiden said they could not wait to meet their sister.
“They threw my first baby at me and I was able to get everything I needed (in Camden),” Queen said. “He got a rocking chair, a bed, clothes and gift cards; they gave me everything I needed or wanted.
“As a mom, I felt really good because I didn’t have that support or support until Luke came to the clinic. He was able to help me and give me the things I needed. ”
Armbruster and Luke Clinic also worked to reunite Queen’s children as Flint’s family. Each was in different locations around Detroit.
“They did this,” Queen said as she watched her children in the activity room. “I was offered a place to stay at Mercy House and then I got Kaiden and Justice and I was able to bring them all here with me. Miss Penny did all this. … I stayed away from them for a while until they were able to reunite us. ‘
Flint’s location services are less than the location of Detroit, which has only been in operation since the fall of 2021.
The clinic has been working hard to raise awareness of life-saving services, empower women, and build faith.
Armbruster works from the perspective of “I will meet anyone with the same heart as me”.
Luke calls the clinic a social ministry, not an evangelical one. Some patients at Luke Clinic have had abortions and Luke Clinic will treat patients equally before and after, Armbruster said.
The Luke Clinic uses the same state-of-the-art equipment that hospitals use. They receive donations or are able to purchase equipment in exchange for a great discount through their partner, the University of Michigan Family Medicine team, and assist in the operation in many ways.
Sitting in the basement of Franklin Avenue Mission, located at 2210 N. Franklin Ave., the clinic has a children’s activity room, social work support, free meals, clothing, insurance browsers, and transportation resources.
For more information, contact Luke Clinic at 866-458-5352.
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