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Lights, Camera, Action!

A bright-eyed 9-year-old girl jumps up on an exam table in a doctor’s office. A fun, kind pediatrician examines her eyes. Then it happens again -- and again.

A lively 5-year-old boy sits in a waiting room looking at a book with his mom. Then it happens again -- and again.

For Jennifer Vigen-Iverson, daughter MacKenzie and son Carter, this was the scene on a Sunday in May at Sanford Children’s in Sioux Falls. They star in a Sanford Children’s television commercial now playing.

More than acting

For Jennifer, the opportunity to participate in the Children’s TV ad was more than just acting in a commercial.

Her connection with Sanford Children’s goes back to 1995 when she started her nursing career in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In 2001 she transitioned to Sanford Children’s Clinic, where today she works three 12-hour shifts a week -- and loves it.

“I have the best of both worlds -- I get to enjoy kids on the job, then for four days I’m home with my own,” she says.

Jennifer and her husband, Marty, live in Hillsboro, N.D., with their four children: MacKenzie, Carter, 14-year-old Zachary and 17-month old Alexis.

A perfect fit

Earaches, broken bones, infections, illnesses -- Jennifer has seen them all in her 16 years as a pediatrics nurse and 14 years as a mom. Her experience has taught her exactly what to look for in quality children’s care.

“It’s important that kids stay up-to-date on their immunizations and they get the appropriate treatment when they’re sick or injured,” she says. “In our own family we’ve so appreciated the extended hours of the Children’s Walk-In. All the services needed are in one location.”

She’s also seen the remarkable difference when children receive care designed for them and provided by board-certified pediatricians -- the perfect blend of art and science.

Jennifer gives an example: “Kids are often scared when they come to the doctor’s. We always give them time to explore, whether that means getting a closer look at the stethoscope or talking about the colorful, kid-friendly surroundings Making it a fun experience is key.”

The real world of filming

The Sanford Children’s commercial transports viewers to the free-spirited, whimsical world of a child. But for MacKenzie and Carter, the actual filming didn’t feel quite so whimsical. Getting every movement and expression just right required repetition.

“I think that was the biggest surprise -- just how many times it takes to capture one scene,” says Jennifer. “But I have to say that Dr. Tiongson made it really fun for us.” Dr. Chris Tiongson, Sanford Children’s pediatrician, stars in the ad, too.

And the coolest part? “The moment when MacKenzie transforms into a rock star, ” says Jennifer, laughing. The ad includes animation, giving it a magical, everything-is-possible feel.

Putting it all together

When the family of six arrived back home to Hillsboro that Sunday evening, they were exhausted after a full weekend of activities, filming and travel. “But it was all very fun,” says Jennifer.

Carter came home a little disappointed because he expected to turn on the TV and immediately see himself.

“I explained to him that it takes time to put all the pieces together, but the commercial would be on this summer," says Jennifer.

Enjoy the ad! And know that the art of “putting all the pieces together” isn’t just for commercials. It happens every day at Sanford Children’s…

“The right place,” says the announcer in the commercial. “Where we’re free to imagine, explore and discover. Where we dream big and transform our world.”

Posted Date: July 2011