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Costopoulos resigns

January 19, 1999|By BRUCE HAMILTON

Less than six months after taking the job of executive director of Hospice of Washington County, John Costopoulos has left the organization "for personal reasons."

"I can tell you that I resigned Jan. 12 but I'm not going to comment further on the resignation," said Costopoulos from his Smithsburg home Monday.

"I want to assure the community that my family and I are well," he said. "I will continue to volunteer with community activities."

Several of the organization's board members said Costopoulos resigned for personal reasons, but would not elaborate.

"The only thing I can tell you is what I was told: That he resigned for personal reasons," said Hospice Board Chairman John Compton.

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Susan Taylor became interim executive director last week following Costopoulos' resignation.

"She is filling those shoes right now," Compton said. "We feel she's qualified." The board of directors has started looking for applicants, he said.

Compton said the board had not decided whether to conduct a search.

Taylor joined Hospice on Nov. 1 as clinical director, a position that entails educating families of the terminally ill about the agency, assigning home health aides to patients and overseeing nursing staff.

She will continue to perform those duties as well as those of the executive director, which include management of employees, fund-raising and public relations.

"We've combined the two positions for now," Taylor said.

The Hospice office is at 101 E. Baltimore St. in Hagerstown. It has 21 employees and about 85 volunteers, according to Taylor. Its budget is more than $1 million, she said.

A 1997 tax form shows the director's salary at that time was about $55,000 including benefits. A current form was unavailable.

Costopoulos became director on July 27 after leaving Washington County Hospital, where he had been director of planning and community relations for 11 years. He succeeded Robert Rauch, who served as Hospice director for two years.

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