The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN), a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, funded by the Merck Foundation, is the only private foundation solely focused on addressing the complex and growing problem of childhood asthma in the United States.
MCAN works to improve access to and quality of asthma healthcare for children – especially the vulnerable and medically underserved – through research, community programs and partnerships.
We educate stakeholders and policy makers on approaches that allow better access to care and promote best practices that are cost effective.
MCAN shares information on what works with stakeholders and communities and educates them about childhood asthma and effective ways to manage it.
As MCAN winds down its programs and activities, it is important to reflect on its successes and challenges and to inform the community-at-large of the need to continue serving populations most at risk. Understanding the need for reflection and continuity of implementing guideline-based asthma care for children, MCAN released its 10-year MCAN Impact Report, “Translating Evidence into Practice.” The report examines MCAN’s multifaceted work through its numerous partnerships both in local communities and advocacy efforts in Washington, DC.
When the Merck Foundation established MCAN in 2005, the rates of childhood asthma morbidity and disparities were rapidly increasing and the need for timely implementation of evidence-based interventions was apparent. In its first phase, MCAN funded the implementation and evaluation of effectiveness of five evidence-based interventions in diverse community settings. In addition, in partnership with NIH and a private family foundation, MCAN assisted children and their families in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 through a combined, “hybrid” intervention of care management and mitigation of asthma triggers in the home, based on previous randomized, controlled studies.