David Victorson is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the cancer support nonprofit True North Treks, whose mission is to help young adults and caregivers affected by cancer to “find direction through connection.” Since 2009, they have been taking groups on free backpacking and canoeing treks in beautiful backcountry wilderness destinations in Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, and Upper Michigan, as well as on residential retreat-based experiences at their retreat facility, the TNT WALDEN Institute in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. TNT’s programming focuses on three central connections – 1) connecting to nature, after something as unnatural as cancer treatment; 2) connecting to peers who have walked a similar path; and 3) connecting to oneself through mindful awareness practices.
David is also a licensed health psychologist, Professor of Medical Social Sciences in Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Cancer Survivorship Institute at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. He is a Steering Committee Member of the Nature, Culture, and Human Health (NCH2) Network, which connects people with interests in investigating and applying knowledge about the health benefits of nature to improve the health and well-being of the greater Chicago area. He is also founding Chair of the Nature as Health Special Interest Group of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. He recently led a published commentary in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on Nature as Medicine, and is currently conducting grant-funded research on the role of mindful garden exposure at an outpatient substance abuse recovery program in Chicago.