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.
There is a wide gap between the care that most children with asthma receive and the care they should be receiving – it’s time to close that gap.
Asthma is the single most common chronic condition among children. Yet, two out of three children don’t receive recommended treatment, only half are advised on how to manage their asthma and less than that receive an asthma action plan. And the care deficits are not equally shared. Low income, medically underserved, and African-American and Hispanic children have the least access to preventive care, excess hospitalizations and the most visits to the ER.
Here at the Merck Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN), we know that when it comes to overcoming the enormous burdens of childhood asthma, just delivering the right medical care is not enough. Many children and their families need additional "care" including counseling, social services, coordination of medical care, assistance in avoiding things that worsen asthma symptoms, to name just a few. That’s why MCAN has partnered with others across the country to implement innovative, evidence-based asthma management programs in local communities. We’re discovering how to integrate effective, evidence-based asthma management strategies in real world settings, and learning what works so that we can share the information with others.