Translating evidence-based interventions into practice: The design and development of the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN)
Pediatric asthma is a multifactorial disease, requiring complex, interrelated interventions addressing children, families, schools, and communities. The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) is a nonprofit organization that provides support to translate evidence-based interventions from research to practice. MCAN developed the rationale and vision for the program through a phased approach, including an extensive literature review, stakeholder engagement, and evaluation of funding gaps. The analysis pointed to the need to identify pediatric asthma interventions implemented in urban U.S. settings that have demonstrated efficacy and materials for replication and to translate the interventions into wider practice. In addition to this overall MCAN objective, specific goals included service and system integration through linkages among health care providers, schools, community-based organizations, patients, parents, and other caregivers. MCAN selected sites based on demonstrated ability to implement effective interventions and to address multiple contexts of pediatric asthma prevention and management. Selected MCAN program sites were mature institutions or organizations with significant infrastructure, existing funding, and the ability to provide services without requiring a lengthy planning period. Program sites were located in communities with high asthma morbidity and intended to integrate new elements into existing programs to create comprehensive care approaches.