By Ainsley Hall email@example.com
Pictured, from left, Hospice of the Panhandle board President George Schramm and retired CEO Margret Cogswell hold up special plague to recognize Cogswell’s accomplishments.
George Schramm, Hospice of the Panhandle board president, presents Margret Cogswell with a special plague during Friday’s open house event honoring the recently retired Cogswell and her contributions to the organizations.
Guests celebrate recently retired CEO Margret Cogswell during Hospice of the Panhandle’s open house event on Thursday.
KEARNEYSVILLE — Hospice of the Panhandle celebrated longtime CEO Margaret Cogswell’s retirement on Thursday during an open house event at the Education Center.
Friends, family and co-workers all gathered to recognize Cogswell and all the incredible work she’s done throughout her 36 years with Hospice of the Panhandle. Guests lined up to congratulate Cogswell and thank her for everything she’d done.
Cogswell became the CEO of Hospice of the Panhandle back when it was just an office. Since then, it has grown and even opened an in-patient center as it gives end-of-life care. Cogswell officially retired on June 1 and since then, has reflected on how much the nonprofit has grown since it began 41 years ago.
“What has really happened these last few weeks is I’ve had the chance to reflect back on all the years I spent here,” Cogswell said. “I started here back in 1987. I spent 36 years here. I’m looking all the way back to when there was just a community who didn’t know how to respond to people who were near the end of their life but knew they wanted to do something about it.”
Cogswell first worked as an oncology nurse and helped give chemotherapy to cancer patients. She worked with many people as they neared the end of their life. It soon became her passion to bring comfort to them and their families as she started working at Hospice of the Panhandle.
“Growing up, my parents treated death as a natural thing,” Cogswell said. “It wasn’t something to be railed against. So, I really think this was my calling. It was what I was meant to do. But of course, that didn’t make it easy.” Though she was the CEO, Cogswell thought it was important to visit people’s houses and would often take time to make sure they were cared for. She shared stories of how one man asked her to come down to try to prank his nurse. She also went out of her way to visit a flea-invested home by tying plastic bags over her feet alongside the other nurses.
During the event, Cogswell was presented with a special plague to recognize her great accomplishments. Board President George Schramm also shared plans to name the meditation labyrinth in her honor, and the board presented Cogswell with a special necklace.
When the campus was first built, Cogswell wanted to create the labyrinth so patients and families could use it for meditation and prayer.
“I know how incredibly hard she works day to day,” her husband, Dan, said. “She deserves every recognition.”
Cogswell thanked everyone who has helped her and volunteered at Hospice of the Panhandle. She hopes to ease into retirement and plans to volunteer in the community in the future.
“One word comes to mind: legacy,” said Sarah Phillips, medical director at Hospice of the Panhandle. “Not many people get to see their legacy play out. Margaret has seen Hospice (of the Panhandle) go from an office to a campus. I really admire her. What she has given to this community is one of the greatest gifts.”