«We’re here to serve.» 5 Questions for Dr. Charlene Flash, CEO of Avenue 360
Why did you go into medicine?
As a young girl, I was impacted by my service-oriented parents. We housed people suffering abuse or who were homeless and hungry. When I considered what mark I wanted to leave as an adult, going into medicine was, for me, the ideal way to serve people. I admired doctors because they had the privilege of touching individual patients’ lives. I valued public health which makes entire communities healthier.
I am privileged to fulfill what I set out to do. As CEO of Avenue 360 Health and Wellness, we provide quality health care with compassion—for all. We believe quality care shouldn’t be dependent on how much money you make or your cultural background. We also believe healthcare should be affordable, which is why we offer a sliding scale and care for uninsured patients.
Your expertise is in infectious diseases. What’s your take on the coronavirus in Houston right now?
Right now, Houston is facing a crisis because of the coronavirus. The impact on health, job security, and social services is – and will be after the pandemic is over – immense. We each have a responsibility to take the safety measures that will reduce community spread. Wearing masks, cleaning surfaces, and social distancing are simple measures that make a big difference, but only if we commit to them.
Multi-generational homes bring young and old into contact and can put the elderly at risk of illness. Some in our community don’t have jobs that offer working from home. We have to thoughtfully approach this new season in which we need to wear masks while out making a living for our families.
What makes Avenue 360 different from other health care providers?
We recognize the financial strain seeking medical attention can cause, especially given our current economic situation. Don’t have insurance? We’ll see you. Have insurance? We’ll see you. Our physicians and medical teams believe providing comprehensive care includes treating urgent conditions of the moment and managing long-term diseases.
It also includes what’s happening in a patient’s life day in and day out. Do they face poverty? Do they have adequate housing? All of these factors impact health. Our community wellness program takes a 360-degree view of the patient and considers physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
Does Avenue 360 offer virtual visits or telemedicine?
Yes. Our medical teams can treat many medical issues by phone or computer from the comfort of a patient’s home. (Request an appointment here.) Some needs like dental care or women’s health needs will need to be seen in-person in one of our seven clinics. We have safety measures in place to keep our patients safe, including taking the temperature of everyone entering our clinics, limiting visitors, requiring masks, and conducting outdoor drive-thru COVID testing.
What’s your message to the communities you serve at this time?
Coronavirus is here but we are stronger than the disease. Don’t put off health care for yourself because of the coronavirus pandemic. Continue to manage your diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV. Keep taking your children to see their pediatrician. If you have depression or anxiety now, don’t let it get worse. Contact us for a mental health visit. We are here to serve.
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.