CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The person who has been leading the Hospice of the Piedmont for nearly seven years is retiring.

According to a release, HOP President and CEO Ron Cottrell announced Thursday that he would be retiring from his position.

He joined HOP in 2016 after working in administration at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital for 27 years.

“I am so blessed to have been part of an organization that provides such meaningful support to patients and their families during the final months of life,” said Cottrell. “When I started at HOP, I knew this work was important, but seeing it up close and personal has given me an entirely different understanding. We are with people at their most vulnerable moments.”

The release says HOP has grown and expanded its offerings under Cottrell’s leadership, including launching its Palliative Medicine program in 2020.

The nonprofit has also added several full-time physicians and earned recognition from the Accreditation Commission for Health Care.

“Ron has been an invaluable asset to the organization, and we very much appreciate his leadership and management,” said Scott Syverud, Chair, Hospice of the Piedmont Board of Directors. “They always say you should leave an organization better than you found it, and Ron has done just that.”

A national firm has been hired to assist in finding Cottrell’s successor. Cottrell will continue to serve as the CEO until a new one is named.