JRMC Auxiliary to Host Tea


Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) Auxiliary will host the 10th annual Tea for All Seasons at Trinity Lutheran Church on Wednesday, September 11, from 2 to 4 pm. Tea, sandwiches and sweets will be served, along with a silent auction and door prizes. Tickets are $7.00 per person and can be purchased from any JRMC Auxiliary member or at the JRMC Gift Shoppe.

“Proceeds from this year’s event will go toward purchasing medication planners for JRMC Home Health clients,” stated Nancy Jo Johnston, volunteer coordinator at JRMC.

For more information call JRMC volunteer services/Auxiliary at 701-952-4809.

Golf “fore” Legendary Healthcare

FoundationGolf13_WEBThe Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) Foundation 3rd Annual GOLF “fore” GOOD Tournament is scheduled for Friday, July 19, 2013 at the Jamestown Country Club. This event is co-sponsored by Timco, IRET Properties and The Davis Group with the proceeds benefiting state-of-the-art health care equipment purchases at JRMC.

Registration per player is $100 and includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, cart rental, dinner, sunglasses and more. Lunch and putting contest start at 11:00 a.m. and the tournament will start at 12:30 p.m. The hole-in-one is presented by Don Wilhelm. Prizes will be awarded for longest drive, closest to the pin, longest putt, closest to the cooler and others.

A dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. with an auction and raffle drawing to follow.

To register your team, be a sponsor or buy a $5 raffle ticket call Penny at (701) 952-4880. Deadline for registration is July 12.

AlterG Treadmill Helps Patients Rehab Pain Free

At 51, Dan Lies lost everything. Now, 18 months later, he’s slowly winning his life back through hard work in Jamestown Regional Medical Center’s Rehab Department.


Stilled by a stroke
Dan has been active throughout his life. He and his family live on a farm 10 miles south of Jamestown, where he and his wife Nancy have raised four children — April, Robert, Erika and Bethany.

He spent 15 years at Weedbadger in Marion, N.D., ultimately as its shipping manager. “After he’d basically worn out both of his shoulders from lifting,” says Nancy, “he was ready for what he called his ‘pre-retirement job.’” He went to work as a clerk at Bottles and Jugs in Jamestown.

Then the unexpected happened: Dan had a stroke. Nancy, who was a corrections officer at the Correction Center, spent long days at his side. His medical team advised her to say goodbye to her husband. “He basically wasn’t with us,” she remembers. “He could breathe above the respirator just a little, but he wasn’t conscious.”

Father Peter Hughes gave him last rites during surgery. After ten days in the hospital, however, Dan still hung on. He was transferred to Triumph, an acute longterm hospital and had inpatient rehab therapy at Sanford. Finally he was moved to Ave Maria Nursing Home for three months.

“He received very good therapy there,” his wife notes. “But then the insurance company sent him home.”

“It’s been quite a battle.”


Challenge is emotional, too
When Dan was sent home, Nancy resigned from her job to care for him. “The struggle comes more from the emotional part than the physical. I wasn’t prepared for that,” she says. “I did not see the depression coming at all … but I found out very quickly how real it is for people who have had strokes.”

Nancy brings Dan to JRMC for outpatient therapy in the Rehab Department. “It’s been hit or miss, whether we get there or not because of his depression,” she concedes. “He has always been stubborn. With the depression, now it’s really bad.” A new piece of therapy equipment called an AlterG treadmill, however, has improved the situation. Nancy learned about it first from Tracy Anderson of JRMC’s Rehab Department, who worked with him at their farm for about a month.

“Tracy talked about how she thought it would help Dan,” Nancy says. “I did some research myself and agreed that it would be great.” The state’s first AlterG unit was in a Bismarck private practice; they drove back and forth for a time, but, she says, “It was just too much.”

Impressed by what they had seen, Nancy brought the idea of AlterG to Jan Barnes of JRMC Foundation. “We made a donation toward acquiring one. I wanted her to understand that I was truly interested in the machine,” she confides.

“And several months later the Foundation acquired one!”


AlterG is showing real results
Now Dan is getting the good cardiovascular workouts he needs without the risk of injury. AlterG supports much of his weight during his sessions, allowing him to increase his mobility and balance without worrying about devastating falls. The therapy has definitely helped with his walking. His wife, too, reports that he seems somewhat happier and more alert, taking more initiative in pursuing daily activities. Along with the new equipment, Nancy is quick to credit JRMC’s rehab staff with her husband’s improvement.

“Cody, his physical therapist, is exactly what Dan needs. I think the world of him,” she says. “I’m happy with the whole Rehab Department,” she adds. “Cassie, the receptionist, always greets him. Lonna in speech therapy has helped him, and Amy has gone above and beyond. She has even gone out to the car and encouraged him when he doesn’t want to come in. If we don’t come in for an appointment, they’re on the phone checking to see how things are going.”

The Lieses have been married 28 years. Their youngest daughter, Bethany, is still at home, attending school in Montpelier. April, Jamestown, is a sterilization tech at JRMC. Robert, a machinist, lives in Elk River, and Erika is attending college in Wahpeton to become an LPN.

It’s a long road back, but there are bright spots for Nancy along the way. “I love this place,” she says of JRMC. “I’m so happy we got the AlterG treadmill.”


New treadmill based on NASA technology for conditioning astronauts to exercise while weightless
The JRMC Rehab Department’s new AlterG antigravity treadmill shares something with WD-40, artificial hearts and cordless power tools: Its roots are deep in the American space program.

NASA was looking for ways to enable astronauts to exercise in space, where weightlessness works against the load-bearing effect of earth-bound running and walking. It was designed to add weight.

But back on Earth, the AlterG rehab treadmill has proven its worth in a completely opposite way. It lightens (or “unweights”) patients, carrying as much as 80 percent of their weight.

They step into an inflatable chamber that hugs them from the waist down. It enables them to run or walk freely on the treadmill without pain or concern about balance.

Its manufacturer notes that the experience is almost like walking on the moon. For someone with limited mobility in his lower body, or for whom pain limits the ability to walk, AlterG can be an ideal tool for getting back on his feet.

“With AlterG you get all the gain without the pain,” explains Steve Basta of the California company licensed to produce NASA’s patent.

JRMC Rehab Manager Tracy Anderson calls the antigravity treadmills “a breakthrough in enabling our rehabilitation patients to get back to their lives as quickly and effectively as possible.”


Foundation donors step up
She notes that JRMC’s AlterG treadmill — purchased by JRMC Foundation with more than $40,000 in donations from the community — is only the second of its kind in North Dakota. “We let our wonderful donors know what we needed, and they stepped forward,” says Foundation director Jan Barnes.

Installed in July, the treadmill has been a busy addition to the department. It is useful for rehab patients with a variety of conditions. In addition to rehabilitation of stroke patients like Dan Lies, it can be used for those recovering from lower body injuries from accidents and sports incidents.

Using AlterG may help rehabilitate those who have had hip and knee replacements. It can be used for neurologic reconditioning after brain injuries, as well as promoting strength and fitness among geriatric patients. The treadmill can also be used for athletic conditioning.


Jerry Fuchs’ knee is good as new after replacement
When Jerry Fuchs asked orthopedic surgeon Michael Dean, MD, about having his left knee replaced last June, the doctor knew what was on his mind. “Dr. Dean told me, ‘Well, pheasant season starts the beginning of October,’” Jerry recalls.

“I asked him whether I’d be able to hunt this fall, and he told me, ‘Absolutely!’” Jerry’s knee was replaced June 18 at JRMC. After five days in the hospital and several weeks of therapy in the Rehab Department, he has his full range of motion back — and is back to hunting and fishing. He’s even doing a little yard work.

“In all honesty, I would say that Dr. Dean and the nursing staff were great!” he emphasizes. “I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again, and I recommend them.” Jerry — who retired in January 2011 — went to therapy twice a week. He’s a big fan of JRMC’s new AlterG treadmill. “That thing is wonderful,” he reports. “It takes some of your weight off your legs and feet, and you can actually walk without hurting, building strength without the pain that goes with it.”

At his last session, therapist Cody measured his range of motion. “I can still see his face,” Jerry says. “It measured at 130 degrees, and I was back to 0 in straightening my knee. It doesn’t get any better than that.”


Story originally published in the September edition of the AppleSeeds Newsletter.

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.”

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


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 klucin@jamestownsun.com

Holmstrom Family Offers Special Thanks To Emergency

Holmstrom family offers special thanks this year for emergency care and helipad.

As Dale and Debbie Holmstrom gathered with their family to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, they shared a special reason for giving thanks — Dale’s recovery from a serious farm accident, thanks to the JRMC medical staff and facilities that helped save his life.

It began at 12:19 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, a time etched in Debbie Holmstrom’s memory. Just sitting down to have lunch, she picked up the phone and heard her husband, Dale,
slowly struggling to tell her, “I fell and hit my head on the concrete.” He was gasping for breath after an accident on their farm, 40 miles away.

Debbie tried to get more information. Had he been knocked unconscious? No. Was he hurt? Yes. He was lying on the cement slab on the floor of the Quonset building. His pickup was parked several hundred feet away.

Debbie was in Jamestown, where the couple live. She rushed to her car, then ran back to the house for a coat, then headed for the farm about eight miles northwest of Gackle.

She called him back four times. No answer. Then she called their daughter Becky, who lives in LaMoure. She advised, “Call 911 right now!”

The 911 call center staff kept her on the line while they alerted the Gackle ambulance and first responders, who are their neighbors. After it was dispatched, she hung up in time to catch another call, this one from Becky, who’d been able to get through to Dale. He had made it to his pickup, she told her mother, and was driving alone toward Jamestown.

Debbie cancelled the ambulance and backtracked to meet him. She caught up to him close to the junction of Interstate 94.

“I know now I shouldn’t have been driving,” Dale says, “but I panicked. I had extreme pain in my head and rib cage.”

Debbie drove him to Jamestown Regional Medical Center and pulled up to the emergency entrance. She grabbed a wheelchair, and the admissions staff wheeled him to the triage area and then to a trauma room.

Dale doesn’t remember too much of what led up to his injury. He was alone on the farm, where he’d installed a new overhead door in the Quonset. “I had to make some adjustments,” he explains. He was working on the scaffolding 14 feet above the ground. He scooted back to reach the right spot …and went straight over the edge.

When he hit the concrete floor headfirst, he wanted to scream in pain — but there was no air in his lungs. He lay there trying to catch his breath, then slowly sat up. That’s when he saw the blood gushing out of his head. He laboriously pulled his phone out of his pocket and called his wife.

“The medical team was just amazing,” Debbie says of their arrival at the E.R. “Instantly four people were working on him, one taking his vitals and another inserting an intravenous line as two more moved him to a board to stabilize his neck.” They quickly readied him for x-rays.

“It was just amazing,” she adds. “No one even had to give directions. They just knew what to do. It was so reassuring. There was no chaos! I knew he was being taken care of.”

After his condition was stabilized, the staff called Life Flight to take him to Fargo. Debbie was told they thought he was going to be all right. But with his forehead, eyes and nose swelling, they recommended the trip to Fargo where, if he had head trauma, specialists were equipped to handle it.

“We were so happy we had the new helipad,” she says.

The helicopter nurse told her, “We’ll have him there in 38 minutes. Don’t you beat us!”

Debbie adds, “For the first time, she actually made me smile.”


Looking back, Debbie says, “The funny thing was that every morning I ask Dale what he’s going to do at the farm, since he’s out there alone. I want to know what he’s up to and when he’ll be home.

“There was no scaffolding involved that day in his morning report.”

Dale was hospitalized in Fargo for three days. He’s home now — with two fractured ribs, two stable fractures in his back, a hole in his knee and nine staples in his head.

Dale will be at home recuperating for the next several months. He still has occasional headaches. Too, he has trouble sleeping … and nightmares about his fall.

His wife, though, is full of positive thoughts.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything better during this ordeal,” Debbie reflects. “911 was great. Then admissions at the hospital was phenomenal. They got him in unbelievably fast, with no questions asked beforehand. At the end I just had to sign in a couple of places.
“Priscilla even offered to have someone go get his pickup. He’d left it parked on the side of the road, unlocked, with his billfold in it. I thought that was really above and beyond the call of duty.”

Dale says, “I’m amazed how quickly they stabilized me. I’m very grateful for
Jamestown Regional Medical Center, its wonderful staff … and for the new helipad.”

When Dale and Debbie gathered with their three children and six grandchildren, they all had something very happy to celebrate with their dad and grandpa.

Says Dale, “Thanksgiving was very special for our family this year.”
Jan Barnes, Director
JRMC Foundation