Addressing the Complex Problem of Childhood Asthma in the United States

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.

Improving Access to Quality Asthma Care for Children

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.

Advocating for Policies that Expedite Evidence-based Asthma Care

We educate stakeholders and policy makers on approaches that allow better access to care and promote best practices that are cost effective.

Increasing Awareness and Knowledge of Asthma and Quality Asthma Care

MCAN shares information on what works with stakeholders and communities and educates them about childhood asthma and effective ways to manage it.


News & Events View All


MCAN Presenting at American Thoracic Society 2015 International Conference

The Merck Childhood Asthma Network will present at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) annual meeting this month (May 15 -20, Denver). On May 19, MCAN care coordination project sites will share findings from community-based programs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Puerto Rico in the scientific symposium, “Strategies to Address Pediatric Asthma Disparities through Care Coordination.” The presentation will be chaired by Floyd J. Malveaux, MD, PhD and Juan Carlos Celedón, MD, DrPH.

Additionally, MCAN Executive Director Dr. Floyd J. Malveaux, will be honored with the Public Service Award as part of the ATS Respiratory Health Awards. This recognition highlights his outstanding contributions to the field of asthma research.


Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition’s Asthma Awareness Month Advocacy Toolkit

Raising awareness about childhood asthma and policy initiatives that can make a difference for kids is a key objective of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition. To support this effort, CALC has prepared an Asthma Awareness Month toolkit that focuses specifically on the importance of Medicaid in protecting the health of children with asthma, and on Medicaid’s future. Click here to view the toolkit.

Throughout the years, innovation has allowed us to overcome some of the toughest health challenges. From targeted therapies to fight cancer to advances in stem cell research, thinking outside the box can bring about much-needed change. For millions of children with asthma, outside the box thinking could mean the difference between staying in school and learning with friends or winding up in the emergency room.

So, what does thinking outside the box mean? At the highest level, it means we cannot continue to approach childhood asthma the same old way and expect to reverse the fact that one in every 11 children in the United States suffers from it and that asthma disparities exist in some communities. First, we must understand that childhood asthma is a chronic disease. Not an "every-once-in-a while" or "only when you wheeze" disease. Relying solely on our current medical system to help the millions of children struggling with asthma is no longer realistic. Certainly, healthcare professionals have a critical role to play. But so do families, schools and communities.

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