Frigens donate $10,000 to JRMC

Ken and Vicky Frigen gave $10,000 to name the JRMC Infusion Room that Ken Frigen received his 40 chemotherapy shots in for multiple myeloma, according to Jan Barnes, JRMC Foundation director. “It was a way of giving just a little back,” Ken Frigen said. “I’ve counted on Jamestown Hospital/JRMC for emergency and medical care as well as rehab a total of 10 times. Having spent some time utilizing numerous and assorted prrofessionals in the medical field, I have begun to feel deeply appreciative of the facilites provided by and to our community.”

JRMC Helps Patients Rehab Faster and Safer with the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill

Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) today announced that the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, the world’s first and only treadmill using NASA based anti-gravity technology, has been installed to help patients in their short-term rehabilitation programs.

Thanks to funds raised by the JRMC Foundation, the rehabilitation department is now able to serve neurological and orthopedic patients better by offering them the opportunity to rehab faster with the AlterG.

AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmills enable faster rehabilitation, safer conditioning for the geriatric population which can help remove major obstacles associated with these activities. Impact on the body and the pain of recovery are reduced, which helps people achieve better results. Patients at JRMC can now rehab better, train smarter, and exercise safer with the AlterG.

With the AlterG, patients can run and walk without bearing their entire weight, reducing the impact on the body to optimize rehabilitation and physical therapy outcomes. Its Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology applies a lifting force to the body that reduces weight on the lower extremities and allows precise unweighting – up to 80% of a person’s body weight, so people can find exactly where the pain stops and natural movement feels good again.

According to Rehab Manager Tracy Anderson, “This treadmill is a breakthrough in enabling our rehabilitation patients to get back to their lives as quickly and effectively as possible.”

There are a multitude of benefits when training and rehabilitating on the AlterG. Patients can use the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill to recover from injury and surgery and it allows them to immediately do partial weight bearing exercises. Patients with neurological disorders maintain, and in some cases even regain functionality and mobility working with the AlterG.

“With AlterG you get all the gain, without the pain,” says Steve Basta, CEO of AlterG. Adopted initially by nationally renowned hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, most recently nursing facilities are seeing the benefits the AlterG can provide for their patients. “We are pleased that Jamestown Regional Medical Center is one of those pioneers,” he said.  “Our unique approach to unweighted physical therapy preserves natural body movement, helps with fall prevention and benefits a broad range of medical conditions.”

“We are fortunate to be only the second facility in North Dakota to have a treadmill of this kind to offer advanced services to our patients,” stated Anderson.

AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmills are designed to be used for lower body injury and surgery rehabilitation, aerobic conditioning, sport specific conditioning programs, neurologic retraining, and geriatric strength and conditioning.

About AlterG AlterG, Inc. manufactures and distributes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmills®, a revolutionary technology for rehabilitation and athletic training. AlterG is great for anyone who wants to reduce impact during exercise or have a smooth rehabilitation after surgery or injury, and is preferred and used by leading medical professionals and the world’s best athletes and teams. AlterG’s unique anti-gravity technology was originally developed at NASA and tested at Nike’s Oregon Research Project by America’s top distance runners and is the only FDA-approved device of its kind. Located in Silicon Valley, AlterG is now selling Anti-Gravity Treadmills worldwide. For more information visit or contact the company at

JRMC Foundation Golf Tournament

The Jamestown Regional Medical Center Foundation will host its 2nd Annual Golf Tournament on Friday, July 27, 2012 at Jamestown Country Club. Proceeds from the event will be used to create wellness walking paths around the campus of Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

The 4-person scramble will begin with registration starting at 11 am and a shotgun start at 12:30 pm.  Registration includes 18 holes of golf, cart rental, dinner, and range balls. Teams will participate in various contests to win prizes. A dinner will take place following the tournament.

To register your team for the JRMC Foundation Golf Tournament go to www. and select Foundation or call Abby at (701) 952-4826. Deadline for registration is July 16th.

NMR donates $10,000 to JRMC

National Medical Resources has given $10,000 to name a patient room at the new Jamestown Regional Medical Center, according to JRMC Foundation Director Jan Barnes.

Abby Thompson, NMR director of marketing and business development, said “We have been working with the hospital since 2005 supplying them with weekend Emergency Department coverage. We are not national, we’re local. Therefore we want to be involbved in the communities that we work.”

Original article published April 17, 2012 in the Jamestown Sun.

Late Gackle Farmer and Teacher Bequeath Major Gift to JRMC

John and Leah Jerke, who grew up and spent most of their lives in the Gackle area, have made a major impact on Jamestown Regional Medical Center with a bequest of $100,000.
John Jerke passed away in August 2007 and Leah in September 2011. JRMC’s Radiology Department will be named in their honor.

At the time of John’s death, the couple had been married 66 years. Their niece Anna Schneck and her husband Alfred, who now live in Sedona, Ariz., shared their story:
John was a farmer and Leah taught school, beginning in one-room schools in the 1930s. In the 1950s she began teaching special education classes in neighboring Lehr. She retired from teaching in 1975.

John loved to fish, play cards and poker, go to casinos and cook. During the winters, when he wasn’t busy farming, he had dinner ready for his wife every night when she came home from school.

Each fall, after hosting Minneapolis hunters on their farm acreage, John loved to can the ducks, geese and pheasants they gave him.
“They never had any children,” recalls Anna, “so they treated us like their children, along with other nephews and nieces.”
The Jerkes wintered in Mesa, Ariz., for more than 20 years. They loved playing pinochle with other snowbirds and looked forward to going to pick-your-own citrus orchards, where they could choose their own fruit for 5  cents a pound. John planted his own citrus trees, too – grapefruit, lemon, orange and mandarin orange – at their Arizona home. “Once a farmer, always a farmer,” his wife would quip.
After selling the Arizona property in 2004, they moved back to the farm full-time.
“They both loved to dance. That’s how they met,” Anna says. “Over the years they also traveled extensively – Europe, Scandinavia, Germany, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. They enjoyed life very much.

Leah loved reading, but hated cooking. She took up painting after she retired.
Meanwhile John spent free hours building storage sheds and dog houses, as well as building and remodeling houses in the Gackle area.
John was widely known as a good farmer and a hard worker. He was very proud of the farm where they lived their entire married lives, which he had purchased in 1940. He kept it immaculately clean.
His niece and nephew say he was very conservative but also generous. Though he’d only attended school through eighth grade, he was an avid reader with a tremendous memory.
Averse to risk, he invested his money safely. He and Leah chose Jamestown Regional Medical Center for their bequest. “They had used it throughout the years, and much more later in life,” Anna explains. “They wanted to help secure its future.

Photo: John and Leah Jerke on their 50th anniversary in 1991.

Jan Barnes, Foundation Director

Jamestown Regional Medical Center Foundation

2012 Big Splash raises about $15,000 for JRMC Hospice

There was a chill in the air Saturday afternoon as 16 people walked the plank for charity.

More than 100 people were in attendance as costumed community members did their part at the Polar Pig Splash to raise money for hospice care in Jamestown.

“It’s just phenomenal to see the support and what they do here,” said Jan Barnes, Jamestown Regional Medical Center Foundation director. “You normally don’t see people putting in the energy for a project like this.”

This year about $15,000 was raised for hospice care at JRMC, said Don Wegner, activities director for the Jamestown Harley Owners Group, which organizes the event.

“It’s very, very important,” Barnes said. “It’s a program that we never want to lose.”

The event at Stutsman Harley-Davidson keeps growing each year. This year with the proceeds Barnes said JRMCE Hospice will be able to buy a specialty mattress and a suction pump to provide better care for hospice patients.

Polar Pig is the biggest fundraiser of the year for hospice care in Jamestown. Individuals or groups raise donations for their jump into the water.

Those not adventurous enough to brave the waters outside were able to compete in a chili cook off. For $5 people were able to sample 18 different types of chili and vote for their favorite.

“One guy was sweating,” said George Quigley, ABATE 8 representative, and chili server. “He took off his hat and said ‘see,’ so we must have a warm one in there.”

While the cost was a donation of $5, some people paid upwards of $50 for a chili sampling.

“This is kind of something to break up the winter blues,” Quigley said. “You can’t ride so have some chili.”

Wegner came up with the idea for the Polar Pig Splash six years ago.

“I know people that have (used hospice care) and they said it’s a really good program,” Wegner said. “It’s something you don’t want to use but it seems to benefit a lot of people and families.”

According to Barnes, JRMC Hospice has helped 604 families in the area since its inception more than decade ago.

A professional musician also provided some music during the event inside.

Les Davis, from North Carolina, originally Driscoll, N.D., came into Stutsman Harley-Davidson a few weeks ago to buy a sticker. He ended up buying a motorcycle and decided to donate his time on the electric organ.

“It’s an honor to be here,” Davis said. “I had to do it, it’s an honor.”

The studio musician has previously played with Lynyrd Skynyrd and John Mayer.

“It’s a surprise to all of us and I think everybody is pleased at the way it turned out,” said John Seifert, Stutsman Harley-Davidson general manger.

Seifert took over as manager early in January, but has been at the event in the past.

“I know for a fact it’s getting bigger and there’s more participation from the community and the Jamestown HOG Chapter,” he said.

Don Wilhelm Inc. also donated a used minivan to be auctioned off at the event with the proceeds going to hospice care.

“It’s a great donation to the hospice and I’m honored it is the only event they do and it’s held at our facility,” Seifert said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at

Polar Pig Splash aids Hospice

Pirates will once again take over Stutsman Harley-Davidson Saturday, raising money for the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Hospice Foundation in the Polar Pig Splash.

Participants in the Polar Pig Splash walk the plank for hospice. Starting at noon, they will jump into an 800-gallon tank of water during one of the coldest months of the year.

“We raised about $12,000 last year,” said Don Wegner, activities director for the Harley Owners Group of Jamestown. “… it’s always gotten bigger and bigger.”

In its first year, the Splash earned $4,000 for the hospice program, and the fundraising has grown every year since.

People tend to do crazy things at the Polar Pig Splash, all to benefit their cause. There are prizes for team spirit, wildest costume and best splash, which prompts some cannonball attempts.

Jumpers have come dressed as pigs, clowns and once, Wegner recalled, somebody dressed up as a chicken.

And, should this year’s event raise $20,000, Wegner will have his head shaved.

“It’s doable, $20,000 is. I’m going to bring a stocking cap just in case,” he said.

Generally, about 15 or 20 people participate in the Polar Pig Splash, but the crowd numbers in the hundreds. Even the first year when it was 20 below zero, a hundred people turned out to watch the event.

“When you hit the water, the water hit the sidewalk where people were standing — it just froze,” Wegner recalled.

The forecast for Saturday’s event is much friendlier, with a high of 21 and a low of 6.

To help take the edge off the chill, the Polar Pig Splash also features a chili cook-off, with taste-testing running from 10 a.m. to noon.

For $5, people can taste the 15 to 20 chilis entered in the contest. Past chilis have included ingredients as diverse as chicken, rice and seafood. Tasters sample each chili and vote on the best one. The winner receives a plaque as well as bragging rights.

“It’s open to everybody,” said George Quigley, of District 8 Abate of North Dakota, who is organizing the chili cook-off.

Competitors should pre-register for the contest by calling 320-5355. Chili should be brought to the site before 10 a.m.

All money from the chili cook-off goes toward the hospice program, along with funds raised by the silent auction, which begins at 9 a.m.

“You don’t want to use (hospice) ever, but it’s a good program for people who do need it,” Wegner said.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at