Health Care Worker Programs

First Descents and the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation have teamed up to launch free outdoor adventure programs for health care workers on the COVID-19 front-lines.

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First Descents and the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation Launch Outdoor Programs for Health Care Workers

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“While the doctors and medicine may have saved my life,
First Descents taught me how to live again.”

First Descents is committed to studying program impact and efficacy. To date, we’ve participated in two formal impact studies that inform ongoing program evaluation. We are excited to apply similar evaluation methods to our evolving work with MS.

First Descents addresses what the National Cancer Institute identifies as a major determinant of long term survivorship health: ongoing psychosocial supportive care.


Why Young Adults?

Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death in young adults. With approximately 70,000 new diagnoses annually, young adults comprise the fastest-growing and most underserved oncology age demographic.


Why It Works


In 2015, First Descents worked with the University of Michigan to evaluate the psychosocial benefits of our programming. The infographic above highlights the top findings from this study including an increase in self esteem, body image and our participants ability to cope with cancer and its ongoing effects as well as a 10% decrease in depression.

This 2015 study continued First Descents’ effort to better understand the psychosocial effects of going on a First Descents program following up on a study conducted in 2012 with the Keck Graduate Institute. The full studies from 2015 and 2012 are linked below.

Read the Study: An Adventure Program for Young Adults with cancer, who benefits? A study featured in Supportive Care in Cancer Journal
Read the Study: An Outdoor Adventure Program for Young Adults with Cancer: Positive Effects on Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning

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