Farmers Union Insurance pledges $50,000 gift to JRMC Cancer Center

Katie Ryan-Anderson
Special to Devils Lake Daily Journal

JAMESTOWN — When caring for cancer, individuals need more than medicine.

Cancer care impacts a person’s body, mind and soul. That’s why Farmers Union Insurance (FUI) made a $50,000 gift to the REACH program at Jamestown Regional Medical Center.

REACH stands for Resources, Educate, Advocacy, Care and Hope. JRMC’s REACH Coordinator Kalen Heller meets with every JRMC Cancer Center patient to discuss diagnosis and treatment plans, apply for programs that offer financial assistance, offer spiritual care and learn about life as a cancer survivor. The coordinator provides support and other services to help reduce the stress of the patient and their family through all phases of treatment and recovery. Patients have the option of meeting regularly with the REACH coordinator after this initial consult.

“We always wanted to offer spiritual care and care for survivorship,” said JRMC Foundation Director Lisa Jackson. “However, we didn’t expect to offer it so soon. In the two years since we’ve opened the JRMC Cancer Center, we’ve saved 500,000 miles of travel and offered holistic care to our patients. This is only possible because of generous individuals and organizations like Farmers Union Insurance.”

Built to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, increase access to under-served communities in central North Dakota and support patients on their cancer journey with state-of-the-art care, the JRMC Cancer Center opened in 2019. Since then, the cancer care team has offered more than 200 infusions each month to individuals from 35 communities in a nine-county area. The center is in partnership with Sanford Health’s Roger Maris Cancer Center.

FUI supports this program because it supports the residents of rural communities, said Mark Anderson, FUI chief executive officer. The support is also personal for Anderson, whose mother passed away from breast cancer when he was 17 years old.

“Supporting rural communities and specifically their members’ health is important to us. Miles matter when people are sick” he said. “We’re proud to be part of what you do here and feel that this commitment is a natural fit with our original gift in 2016.”

Farmers Union and Farmers Union Insurance also named the Welcome Center at the JRMC Cancer Center. The organizations donated $150,000 to the cancer center in 2016 – launching the development of the service.

“We couldn’t have opened the JRMC Cancer Center without North Dakota Farmers Union and Farmers Union Insurance,” Jackson said.