Fr. Luke Istafanous, M.D.
Psychiatry, Neurology, Addiction Medicine
Fr. Luke completed a General Certificate of Education (GCE) from Oxford University through Victory College in Alexandria Egypt, after which he obtained his M.D. degree from the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University and again in the United States in 1998. He trained in psychiatry and addiction as a resident for 4 years in the state Psychiatric Hospital of El -Maamourh in Alexandria Egypt and ran a psychiatry private practice in Alexandria. In the States, he worked as a Mental Health Advocate in an outreach mobile team called the P.A.C.T team (Program of Assertive Community Treatment) with the Catholic Charities in New Brunswick NJ. He completed his psychiatry residency training program at UMDNJ/NJMS (University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ/ New Jersey Medical School) from 2000-2004. Fr. Luke obtained his first medical board degree of general psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (A.B.P.N.) in 2004 and a second board in the sub-specialty of addiction from the American Board of Addiction Medicine (A.B.A.M.) in 2005. He worked as a Medical Director of Psychiatric Emergency Room in Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth NJ, then as an attending psychiatrist at UMDNJ/NJMS reaching a faculty appointment of Assistant Professor of Psychiatry from 2004 to 2010. He was ordained as a Coptic priest on August 7, 2010 to serve the parish of St. Mary and St. Mercurius Coptic Orthodox Church in Belleville, NJ. He founded and medically directed St. Luke’s Community Health Center—a free psychiatric outpatient facility in the Archdiocese of North America under The auspices of HG Bishop David from 2011 until present. He continues to teach psychiatry residents in UMDNJ/NJMS as a voluntary faculty and received an excellence in teaching award in 2017. He obtained a Masters degree in theology from Pope Shenouda III Coptic Orthodox Seminary in 2018 and has several publications, including a book entitled, “Purity: An Orthodox Christian Curriculum.”