Translating Evidence Into Practice: Merck Childhood Asthma Network 10-Year Impact Report
The Merck Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting implementation of effective, evidence-based programs designed to reduce asthma symptoms and improve the quality of life for children with asthma and their families. The organization, funded by the Merck Foundation, operated from 2005 – 2015 with a vision to become a leading national resource and advocate for children with asthma and their families by working with national, regional, and community partners. More than 6 million U.S. children have asthma and it is the third leading cause of hospitalizations and emergency room (ER) visits among children under age 15. The need for evidencebased action was critical, and thus MCAN was established to meet this need. During its 10-year history, MCAN funded and participated in the implementation of projects in varied geographic locations and settings to improve asthma care for children, responding to the growing and significant public health problem that asthma had become. MCAN executed its activities in two phases. In Phase I (2005-09), MCAN funded the implementation of evidencebased interventions and engaged in activities to identify policies to improve asthma care and translational/ implementation research. MCAN incorporated the experiences and lessons learned during this phase into the strategic plan for Phase II (2010-15). During Phase II, the organization supported implementation of an efficacious evidence-based intervention in Federally Qualified Health Centers and executed several advocacy initiatives focused on increasing national awareness and rallying action to address the public health threat of childhood asthma. MCAN worked with a coalition of stakeholders dedicated to improve the healthcare of children with asthma. MCAN initiatives improved understanding among the public health community, community-based healthcare providers and others of the characteristics and challenges of effective community-based healthcare and how to create systems to respond to these challenges. Through its successful efforts to unite various stakeholders working to address childhood asthma, MCAN raised the profile of this chronic condition and its adverse effects on children and families. MCAN would like to thank its many partners and supporters from the public and private sectors. Without input from and the generous support of these organizations, MCAN would not have been nearly as successful in improving the care and quality of life of children with asthma.