Derek, a licensed substance abuse counsellor, presents nationally at universities and conferences to raise awareness and address the root causes of addiction and trauma. In 2011, he founded the Loa Fund, a non-profit supporting equitable access to mental health and addiction treatment. He was recognized for his philanthropic efforts as the 2017 Utah Community Service Award recipient. He currently serves on the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council Board, working with leading professionals to advance the field through best practices, effective treatment, and evidence-based research.
As a passionate advocate of wilderness therapy, he is committed to expanding the use of nature connectedness in behavioural healthcare. He is a co-founder of two residential treatment programs, Legacy Outdoor Adventure and Juniper Canyon Recovery Center. These programs blend traditional psychotherapy with outdoor experiences. On the weekends, he and his wife are learning to ski with their nine-year-old son and six-year-old daughter, negotiating the dubious hot chocolate to ski-run ratio.