MARTINSBURG — November marks National Hospice Month and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office created a proclamation for the occasion.

On Monday morning local officials, along with Hospice of the Panhandle’s staff, gathered together at the hospice facility in Kearneysville to celebrate National Hospice Month.

Joy Lewis, a local representative in Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office, presented the proclamation to Margaret Cogswell, CEO of Hospice of the Panhandle.

"The proclamation of National Hospice Month gives us another opportunity to remind people there is an organization in our community that can help them when they are facing this most difficult times in their lives,”Cogswell said."A lot of people are scared because they think it means the very end, but we have people in our program for months that we care for and they are doing the things they love to do because of the help we can give them.”

Cogswell said hospice’s main focus is to give their clients a peace of mind.

"In hospice care we work with people who have very serious illnesses, as well as their families, to make them very comfortable and to give the ability to live their life to the fullest,”Cogswell said."Sometimes that means taking care of physical problems so that they can do the things they really want to do, like enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with their family. That becomes the priority, not their illness. They are not defined by their illness, they are defined by who they are and the love they have for their families and their friends.”

Staff writer Katiann Marshall can be reached at 304-263-8931, ext. 182, or at on Twitter @kmarshallJN.