Health Net, the medical insurer in Woodland Hills, has partnered with L.A.-based nonprofit Wesley Health Centers to conduct a study assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial minorities and underserved communities, the company said Monday.

The partnership is part of a broader, national study by Health Net parent company Centene, and the National Minority Quality Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based research and educational nonprofit.


Wesley will offer free COVID-19 screenings at no cost to patients as part of the partnership at sites in Lancaster, Lynwood and Bell. Quest Diagnostics will provide molecular diagnostic testing.


Those who test positive will receive monitoring kits to track symptom progression and daily calls from a study nurse during the first 14 days in quarantine.


The study is scheduled to continue for five years, with participants receiving check-up calls once a month, Health Net said.


“Longitudinal studies of the health of survivors are going to give us vital information about this disease and the disparities that it exposes,” Dr. Alex Chen, chief medical officer for Health Net, said in a statement. “I know the citizens of Los Angeles are eager to step up and share their experience over the next five years as their contribution to what we will know about COVID.”


Added Brian Ternan, Health Net chief executive: “COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on California, particularly our communities of color. As part of our mission to transform the health of our communities one person at a time, together with Wesley Health Centers, we hope to increase access to COVID-19 testing and provide important data and evidence-based solutions to improve health disparities.”