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Hospital staff honor former patient, former volunteer

New bricks are added to Dr. Pryich Healing Garden

large group of women

Rock Springs – Staff at the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County got together Thursday to honor a former patient and a former volunteer as the Memorial Hospital Foundation added their memorial bricks to the Dr. Pryich Healing Garden, located in front of the hospital’s main entrance.

The first brick that was added to the garden was in honor of Don Chollak. Don was a former patient and friend to many staff members throughout the years. When thinking of Don, many staff members talked about his welcoming charm and how he was famous for delivering the hospital’s cafeteria menus to several departments in the hospital and to members of the community.

The next set of bricks that were added to the garden were in honor of Mary Ellen Brightwell, a former volunteer and member of the hospital auxiliary. Mary Ellen dedicated approximately 4,000 volunteer hours, spending most of her time in the Health Information Management Department. “Mary Ellen was so sweet and willing to help with anything that the staff needed. She was a true friend to many of us at the hospital and we miss her dearly,” explained Janae Gale, the Director of Volunteer Services.

“The Dr. Pryich Healing Garden is an important and special part of our hospital’s campus as it provides a calming and healing environment for our patients, their families, and also our staff,” Tiffany Marshall, the Executive Director of the Foundation noted. The garden includes numerous memorial brick areas, trees with memorial plaques, and many memorial benches.

All of the bricks that were added to the garden were purchased by hospital staff members who wanted to honor Don and Mary Ellen. Memorial and dedication opportunities start at $100 and may be found by visiting the Memorial Hospital Foundation’s website at