A couple who contributed to Jamestown Hospital over 20 years is naming the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Patient Care Unit.

Nels Albin was 83 years old when he passed away in 2019 after a two-year battle with cancer. He was an area farmer, woodworker and antique collector. His wife, Ileene Albin, worked at Jamestown Hospital and as a volunteer at JRMC for years. They also established a $100,000 estate gift in Nels’ will to create a legacy.

"We're grateful to JRMC for the care we've received and most recently, what Nels received," Ileene said. "We wanted to share the blessings we had with others."

JRMC celebrated the Albins’ generosity with a dedication ceremony on July 14.

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"The investment in care ensures access to local services at a level our friends and family deserve,” said Lisa Jackson, JRMC Foundation director.

Ileene said it was important to have a facility this close in the community.

Over the course of 20 years, the Ablins helped build the new hospital, start the foundation endowment program, purchase equipment and create the JRMC Cancer Center.

"Their first gift was a $5 memorial," Jackson said. "Since then, they maximized their support by utilizing IRA rollovers and the North Dakota 40% tax credit. I know how important caring for others was for them."

Nels married Ileene 25 years ago. He also took on a fatherly role to her four adult children – Tawnie Jewett, Perry Presler, Troy Presler and Jason Presler.

The family agreed that the estate gift will inspire generosity in others as well. After Nels’ two-year battle, supporting cancer care also had special meaning for the family.

“Today was a wonderful way to display what a wonderful person Nels was,” Perry Presler said.

Jackson said she has seen "extraordinarily dedicated supporters, many of whom have made a lasting impact on JRMC. We are grateful when people are so thoughtful about planning their legacy. It hasn't just affected our hospital; it has transformed our community. A hospital like JRMC is unique and rare. The community is proud of that. Generations of commitment made JRMC the destination for care that it is today.”

JRMC's journey began with dedicated people who made sacrifices for the community's health and vitality. In 1927, local leaders sold bonds to campaign for a new health care facility - what was then Jamestown Hospital. Those leaders provided Jamestown and the surrounding area with state-of-the-art care and a "vision of the future."

Like them, support continued through the generosity of families like the Albins and thousands of others.

The Nels and Ileene Albin names welcome patients and families as they enter the Patient Care Unit on the second floor of JRMC.

“Our patients see the names of community supporters on our walls, plaques and signage," said Lisa Schrenk, registered nurse and manager of the JRMC Patient Care Unit. "They tell us how they feel cared for by both our medical teams and the people who made this hospital possible. Not everyone is called to care at the bedside like a nurse is. However, everyone can care, in their own way. We are grateful for the Albin family. What a beautiful tribute.”

To learn more about giving at JRMC, call 952-4880.