The Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc (MCAN) this week announced its $4 million funding investment to implement the Community Healthcare for Asthma Management and Prevention of Symptoms (CHAMPS) partnership in five nonprofit, Federally Qualified Health Centers. The investment in community health centers (CHC) is designed to demonstrate how asthma management tools proven effective in controlled trials, can be applied in real-world settings where many children and families most in need get care.

Members of the CHAMPS partnership include The George Washington (GW) University School of Public Health and Health Services; the RCHN Community Health Foundation; and Rho, a privately-held, contract research organization. The CHCs selected to participate in CHAMPS—all of which serve large numbers of children with asthma—are located in Tucson, Ariz; the Grand Rapids, Mich area; and Rincon, Puerto Rico.

The MCAN investment comes in response to results of earlier studies and to a report authored by GW that identified CHCs as ideal settings for treating high-risk children with asthma. The GW report specifically found that CHCs serve as the primary place where as many as 20% of low-income children with asthma receive care.

Program funding will cover a 4-year period of planning, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of the CHAMPS programs. The evidence-based intervention that will be used across all CHC sites is a “hybrid” of two published scientific studies—the National Cooperative Inner City Asthma Study (NCICAS) and the Inner City Asthma Study (ICAS). NCICAS uses a case-management approach and ICAS addresses identification and remediation of factors in the home that worsen asthma symptoms.

At the conclusion of the study, GW and Rho will work in partnership with the centers to assess successful implementation strategies; identify best practices for replication; refine and implement a common protocol; evaluate health outcomes and cost benefit; and develop recommendations to change health practices and policies essential to successfully managing childhood asthma.

Source: The Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc