Margo Karsten, PhD, MS, BSN, CEO at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center
With over 25 years of experience in health care, Margo is currently serving as the CEO of Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. Margo actively searches for leading edge strategies to improve cultures and care delivery systems. Margo’s current passion is Relationship-Based Memory Care, an innovative approach to compassionate care for those suffering from age-related cognitive impairment, more commonly known as dementia.
Margo’s vast health care experience, along with her passion for bringing compassionate care to those with dementia, makes her uniquely suited to bring this important work to a wider audience.
Margo’s own story explains more:
When my mom showed signs of dementia, I didn’t know how I could be helpful to her. Searching for an approach to care that was easy and kept her calm was overwhelming. Fortunately, a colleague gave me a copy of Penny Garner’s Contented Dementia. I was impressed with Penny’s approach. Shortly after reading the book, I found myself traveling to Burford, England to meet Penny. I began my training immediately. She’s been working with her “wraparound” model of care for over twenty years in England, and the results with this method demonstrate decreased anxiety for both the caregiver and the person with dementia.
When I came back home and applied what I learned with my mom, our relationship grew to be one of mutual respect, compassion, and joy. She remained calm and content until her dying day. I feel very compelled to share this innovative approach, which I have now blended with the essential relational competencies defined by Mary Koloroutis and Michael Trout in their book See Me as a Person. Relationship-Based Memory Care is a behavioral approach that is easy to learn and extremely effective in helping people to provide loving care to this vulnerable population.
This website is just a small part of Margo’s enormous commitment to teaching others about a way of caring for people suffering from age-related cognitive impairment that is destined to become the norm not merely because it is the compassionate thing to do, but because it works to achieve the most practical goals of long-term care facilities, the friends and families of people suffering with dementia, and the patients themselves: safe, humane care that reduces or eliminates the need for psychotropic drugs and keeps patients calm and contented.
In the following video, Margo talks about one of her favorite subjects: Positive Deviance. After you view it, you’ll have a sense of where Relationship-Based Memory Care came from: A small group of people were doing something far out of the mainstream that was getting much better results than what their mainstream counterparts were doing…
Positive Deviance asks that we look at what’s working well, study it, understand it, and replicate it. This is the simple formula that fuels every aspect of Margo Karsten’s professional life.