The MRCIS: A Research Study on the Impact of COVID-19 on Underserved Communities

As the U.S. continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color, Centene Corporation (CNC), a leading multi-national healthcare enterprise, and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), an independent research and educational organization dedicated to ensuring high-risk racial and ethnic populations receive optimal healthcare, announced today a research partnership for the “Minority Rural Coronavirus Insight Study (MRCIS)” to assess the impact of COVID-19 on racial minorities and underserved communities across the country.

The study aims to reduce healthcare disparities among underserved populations and raise awareness through Centene’s Communities Together in Health initiative. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic Communities Together in Health is working to provide data-driven solutions that ignite key healthcare stakeholders to help address disparities in the healthcare system.

“With so many minority populations serving in essential roles on the front lines of this pandemic, we have an urgent need to provide them with accessible, equitable healthcare.” – Gary Puckrein, President and CEO of NMQF

The MRCIS will use a phased-in approach to follow a volunteer group of 3,000 participants for five years to examine the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities. Testing will be conducted at health centers in five states, prioritizing communities impacted by the virus.

Makella Coudray at NMQF shares more about the MRCIS, “… it’s the population [racial and ethnic minorities] that drives me to making this my favorite project. I like working in health disparities and I like on projects that advance minority and health equity.”


According to a recent study by the APM Research Lab, African Americans have a death rate nearly three times higher than white Americans from the virus, while Hispanics/Latinos have a greater share of confirmed cases than their population. Native Americans also experience significantly higher infection and death rates.

Keep an eye out for more updates as results and data come in from the MRCIS. Read the full press release here.

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