History The Joerns Healthcare history spans more than 100 years. The key business components of Joerns Healthcare have always been strong leadership, perseverance and personal commitment from the company's leadership and associates. Founded in 1889 in St. Paul, Minnesota as Joerns Brothers Furniture by three brothers, Charles, Paul and Frederick Joerns, relocated to Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1905.
Charles Joerns bought out his brothers and ran a very prosperous but small company. In 1927, the company suffered a fire, which spurred relocation to Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Joerns Brothers Furniture prospered in the 1940's and 1950's by manufacturing elegant and elaborate bedroom and dining room sets, which sold to upscale retail furniture stores for up to $1,000. Charles Joerns managed his company profitably until his death in 1941.
In the mid-1950's, strong competition from the South forced Joerns Brothers Furniture into hard times. As the business faltered, Joerns Brother Furniture associates intensified their commitment to the company and accepted a 15% voluntary wage reduction with a promise of repayment including interest. Later, Joerns Brothers Furniture repaid 100% of this debt back to the associates.
Frederick Joerns' son-in-law, Raymond Nass, joined the firm in 1959. Under his command, the company expanded into college dormitory furniture. Next, metal engineering was added and Joerns Brothers Furniture entered the health care market. Offerings included manual Hi-Low, fixed-height hospital beds and three styles of cabinets and chairs for hospitals and nursing homes. The medical industry continued to gain prominence as the company's leading market niche and in 1983, the company name was changed to Joerns Healthcare.
That same year, Joerns affiliated with three other companies to form a new holding company - Sunrise Medical Inc. The formation of Sunrise Medical Inc. permitted a public issue of stock, which generated capital for new products and expansions. The breakthrough FreeStyle® bed, introduced in 1991, broke new ground for Joerns Healthcare as well as the industry. The FreeStyle offered the convenience and economy of a manual bed, but without the hassles of hand-turned cranks. In 1993, the company released their first EasyCare® bed.