Our Partners: Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc.

The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization funded by the Merck Foundation, was established in 2005 in Washington, DC as the only private foundation focused solely on addressing the complex issue of childhood asthma in the U.S. In response to this growing and significant problem that emerged over several decades, MCAN’s mission was to:

  1. Enhance the quality of life for asthmatic children and their families.
  2. Reduce the burden of asthma on them and society.

MCAN’s funding focused on implementation of projects in varied settings to improve high quality asthma care for children. During its tenure, MCAN granted more than $20 million to programs set in some of the nation’s most impoverished, at-risk communities to study the impact of evidence-based interventions on symptoms and emergent/urgent care in children living with asthma. For the last 10 years, MCAN:

  • Fostered major advances in understanding the characteristics and challenges of effective community-level care and best practices for implementation,
  • Helped bring together leading organizations with a strong interest in childhood asthma, and;
  • Identified and successfully advocated for major public policy changes that were needed for improved asthma care.

Learn more about MCAN’s work as a respected authority, effective catalyst and influential advocate for children with asthma by visiting the MCAN Library to access useful resources, tools, and publications. You can also find MCAN materials throughout the Network.



MCAN leaves a legacy of experience that can be adapted and implemented by others providing services to at-risk populations. Its success in identifying barriers and facilitators in implementing effective asthma programs has valuable implications for the potential management of other chronic diseases. The MCAN 10-Year Impact Report, "Translating Evidence into Practice" shares the work and outcomes of its programs and initiatives and the Key Impact Highlights of MCAN's work from 2005 to 2015.



Interested in learning more about the growing problem of childhood asthma? View MCAN's Putting Together the Pieces to Manage Childhood Asthma infographic.