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.
August 29, 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the deadly storm that hit the Gulf Coast causing over $100 billion in damage and almost 2,000 deaths. Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana particularly hard, leaving destruction that is still affecting the city today. In the face of such tragedy, numerous organizations worked together to coordinate outreach efforts in the affected areas. The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) was a part of those efforts.
Hurricane Katrina left overwhelming ruin in its wake. The health care systems were entirely disrupted at a time when efficient medical intervention was in high demand. The flood waters caused countless issues, including high levels of mold and other allergens and contaminants that had the potential to exacerbate asthma symptoms. Recognizing an area of need, MCAN joined forces with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities - now the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), and the deLaski Family Foundation to create the HEAL (Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana) Project.