Sponsor: Pottstown Memorial Medical Center

Designer: Linda Jacobs
Artist: Paula Stackonis (now Paula Toomey)

About the Sponsor:
Boyertown Imaging & Rehabilitation Services, located at 23 N. Walnut St., Boyertown, offers imaging, diagnostic and rehabilitation services all at one convenient location. Diagnostic services include CAT scans, open MRIs, ultrasounds, bone density scans and mammograms; rehabilitation services include physical, occupational, speech and hand therapies as well as lymphedema services. Boyertown also offers a blood drawing station with no appointment necessary.
Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, located just off of Route 422, is dedicated to providing quality care, close to home. It features a medical staff of nearly 300 physicians offering 40 medical specialties and the latest in diagnostic technology, treatments and a full array of inpatient services. There are convenient outpatient locations for ambulatory surgery, rehabilitation, imaging services and occupational health services, as well as five locations for lab work and four family care practices. PMMC also features Pottstown Memorial Regional Cancer Center, which provides a comprehensive community cancer program and is fully accredited by The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and The American College of Radiation Oncology.

Bear-Aid – A Symbol of Many Services By Diane VanDyke

Pottstown Memorial Medical Center’s bear, Bear-Aid, is symbolic of the myriad of health care services provided by the hospital and its treatment center, Boyertown Imaging & Rehabilitative Services, 23 N. Walnut Street, where the bear permanently resides.

Bear-Aid, designed by Linda Jacobs of Epps Advertising, Trappe, sports an ice pack on his head, a thermometer in his mouth, a sling on his arm and a band aid on his paw. In white letters across grizzly bear’s back is the statement, “Got Bear fever? We can cure that.”

“The employees at the Boyertown facility came up with the idea for the bear,” said Debra Bennis, PMMC marketing director. “Many of them live in the Boyertown area and wanted to show their support for the project.

“Bear-Aid is a great opportunity to be a part of the community and to spread the word about the services PMMC provides,” she said.

Artist Paula Stackonis started painting Bear-Aid in January and finished the final touches to the golden highlights of the bears fur days before its debut on April 18, 2009, at Building a Better Boyertown’s Coming Out of Hibernation event.

Stackonis, who specializes in pet portraitures, is known for her fine details and for capturing the essence of her subjects. Bear-Aid’s face, with its soulful eyes and meticulously painted fur, seems almost real.

“The bear was done in several steps with many layers of acrylic paint,” Stackonis said. “My daughters Devon, 12, and Marley, 9, and their friend, Lily Weber, were the under-painters and applied the initial coats of color.”

Stackonis also assisted with the painting and creation of the Boyertown Elementary School bear, Patches, which involved the students at the school. “My daughters and their friend wanted to participate with this bear,” she said. “It really means a lot to them.”

Stackonis has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Kutztown University and was the designer and art director for the National Association of Colleges and Employers in Bethlehem. She has done commissioned pet portraits for several years and is now switching her focus to concentrate on artwork for upcoming art shows.

She is a member of the Pottstown Area Art Guild and an active committee member of Boyertown’s Arts and Activities Alliance. “Boyertown is a wonderful art community and now has a new studio (Studio B),” she said. “There are many talented artists in the area and it’s a great network.”

Fellow artist/cartoonist, David Manak, for example, provided support and a “much appreciated artistic opinion” throughout this project, she said.