Mary Koloroutis, MSN, RN, CEO and Consultant

mary koloroutisAs a co-creator, author, and editor of the Relationship-Based Care series of books and seminars, Mary helps health care organizations create a framework for delivering world-class care with strong underlying values and principles and then works with them to implement that framework.

Mary is known as an innovator, creator, and gifted facilitator. She enjoys inspiring people to recognize their unique gifts and the sacred trust inherent in the work of caring. She achieves results by identifying and using the existing strengths and capacities of individuals and groups. One of Mary’s most far-reaching programs, Re-Igniting the Spirit of Caring, helps members of the health care team transform their workplaces into cultures where responsibility prevails, relationships thrive, appreciation is openly expressed, and caring and healing are the foundations of each working day.

Her approach blends the practicalities of care delivery with ethical necessities. This compelled her most recent works, the See Me as a Person workshop and the book See Me as a Person: Creating Therapeutic Relationships with Patients and their Families, both co-created with psychologist Michael Trout. Both of these offerings emphasize the importance of establishing a therapeutic connection with each person needing care as a fundamental condition for healing. It also asserts the importance of being conscious of and understanding one’s own emotional responses as a prerequisite to being present with another person.

Mary lives the kind of leadership and relationships that she teaches, and she has a unique ability to explain the work of caring for others with language that clarifies and deepens meaning. She’s worked extensively with leadership teams for a wide range of programs, including Leadership at the Point of CareLeading an Empowered Organization, and the Relationship-Based Care Leader Practicum. Mary provides coaching built on the tenets of transformational leadership for leaders at all levels.

Mary’s career spans more than 35 years and includes experience as a staff nurse in oncology and labor and delivery, clinical manager, and administrator for a patient care division. She served as cochair of an ethics committee in a large tertiary center for ten years. She has her BSN from Mary-Hardin Baylor University in Belton, Texas and earned an MS in nursing administration from the University of Minnesota. She currently lives in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois.

Mary Koloroutis on the Creation of the Relationship-Based Care Book and Model

Relationship-Based Care has evolved over the past 25 years beginning with the seminal work of Marie Manthey on Primary Nursing—a care delivery system that puts the patient-nurse relationship central. My motivation for contributing to the development of the RBC Model was very simple. When I entered nursing practice, it was clear to me that safeguarding the humanity of those in our care as well as the humanity of those of us providing care would take intention and awareness as well as leadership (whether at the point of care or leading in a role within the organization). Institutions are where most care is provided and they are, by nature and design, prone to dehumanizing processes. The volume of patients served, the complexity of human caring and the complexity and escalating development in the sciences and technology all take attention and can undermine our core purpose. Holding the person central takes mindfulness, teamwork, and perseverance, along with an established way of doing/way of being within an organization that supports caregivers in keeping patients and families central at all times.

See Me as a Person Reflection CD

See Me as a Person: Stories for Reflection on the Therapeutic Relationship provides a diverse mix of patient stories and caregiver reflections on therapeutic relationships. Inspired by the book, See Me as a Person: Creating Therapeutic Relationships with Patients and their Families, each track is carefully crafted to deepen the experience of what it means to be fully present for those in our care. This program presents the living stories of patients, caregivers, and staff. Each track is written to reinforce key elements of Relationship-Based Care as experienced by patients and their families.  Purchase CD.

Areas of Focus:

  • Creating therapeutic relationships despite chaotic work environments
  • Transformational leadership
  • Caring as an art, science, and ethics
  • Leadership development; individual and team coaching
  • Professional practice
  • Relationship-Based Care design and implementation


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