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.

Asthma treatment regimens have greatly evolved over time and until asthma was recognized as an inflammatory disease of the airways in the 1960s, patients weren't always considered to be afflicted with a physical illness, let alone a chronic condition.

In the past 60 years, research and overall management continue to evolve, and the focus on evidence-based medicine has led to improved outcomes as well as quality of life for many. Despite improvement, 1.8 million asthma diagnoses are still made in hospital emergency rooms with an average hospital stay of 3.6 days. And worse, children have two times the rate of emergency room visits compared to adults. So while much has been done there is still so much further to go.

Advocates, physicians, scientists, caregivers and patients continue to join forces to increase awareness of effective asthma management and treatment. We continue to examine the current state of research, treatment and interventions and continually reassess our collective path forward.

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