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.


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MCAN Releases Its 10-Year Impact Report: Translating Evidence into Practice

MCAN is pleased to share the work and outcomes of its programs and initiatives over the past 10 years in this report highlighting the organization’s impact on childhood asthma, including:

  • The implementation of evidence-based interventions and their role in reducing morbidity related to childhood asthma
  • Advocacy for public policy debate and changes needed to facilitate improved asthma care
  • Sustainability of effective interventions in diverse settings, primarily in impoverished communities 

Read the full MCAN 10-Year Impact Report, "Translating Evidence into Practice" here and the impact highlights here.


MCAN Materials Now Available on

MCAN’s resources and tools are now available on, ensuring that the best practices and findings of MCAN’s programs will continue to inform effective asthma management. is co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and MCAN to provide a networking and interactive knowledge sharing forum to the asthma community. 

Resources available on the site include MCAN webinar and conference archives, MCAN publications and a detailed implementation guide and eLearning videos for the CHAMPS intervention.
Visit AsthmaCommunityNetwork today to get the most out of these new features of the site!.

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.

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