Avenue 360 Health System Moves to Telemedicine During COVID-19 Pandemic
March 26 2020
Avenue 360 is transitioning from in-clinic-only primary care and behavioral health visits to a hybrid of in-person visits and telemedicine. The move is meant to help maintain access to care and reduce exposure to COVID-19.
“In the ongoing effort to protect the Houston community from COVID-19, there is no better time to move most of our patients to virtual care by online video or phone,” said Dr. Charlene Flash, Avenue 360 CEO and infectious disease physician. “From the safety and comfort of their homes, patients now have greater access to quality primary and mental health care. We’re also taking a barrier to care in this region –transportation–out of the equation.”
Avenue 360 provides medical, behavioral, and dental care, hospice, and adult day care to a medically underserved population, many without insurance. (Following COVID-19 orders by federal and local officials, non-emergency dental appointments have been canceled and the adult day care program has been shuttered.)
Beginning March 30, the system’s physicians and nurse practitioners will provide consultation by telephone and online video for some acute conditions — like allergies, depression, back pain, and COVID-19– and some chronic illnesses, including diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Prescription medication management is also provided.
“Some care is not amenable to telemedicine,” Dr. Flash added. “Depending on the individual patient’s medical needs, an in-person appointment may be necessary. But in this time of social distancing, we’re pleased to provide this option for non-emergency care via technology.”
Avenue 360 continues COVID-19 “in-car” testing at two of its Houston clinics –in The Heights (p: 713-426-0027) and Southwest Houston (p: 832-830-8345) – for patients who might be experiencing coronavirus symptoms or might have been exposed. Patients must call ahead prior to evaluation for COVID screening and are asked to remain in their cars upon arrival to the clinic.
About Dr. Charlene Flash: An infectious disease physician, Dr. Flash developed one of the first comprehensive HIV prevention programs in the United States to prescribe HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). Previously, she served in senior clinical or administrative positions at Harris Health System (Ben Taub Hospital) and Legacy Community Health. She is board certified in in infectious disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Flash has taught at Baylor College of Medicine since 2012. She is a graduate of Yale University, Harvard University, and Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
About Avenue 360: Founded 30 years ago, Avenue 360 Health and Wellness is a Federally Qualified Health Center with 10 sites in the Houston region providing primary and behavioral health care, as well as housing and adult day care. The system focuses on quality medical treatment and prevention and on the social factors impacting health outside of the exam room.
The information contained in this Avenue 360 Web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and Avenue 360 recommends consultation with your Avenue 360 doctor or health care professional.