When a client speaks to Barbara (“Barbie”) Kurkul, it is clear from the outset that they are speaking to a seasoned problem-solver.
Barbie has been working as an Information Assistance and Referral Specialist for Senior Solutions since February of 2020. She came on just as the COVID pandemic hit and offices were closing – but she committed to being in the office on a regular basis. “I love helping people find solutions – it’s like puzzle-solving,” she said, with genuine enthusiasm. Even during our interview, she took time out to explain to someone the details and processes for the Choices for Care program in depth, which helps seniors receive long-term Medicaid home care services. She loved growing up around both sets of her grandparents, which probably explains the big heart she has for helping our seniors!
Seeing the “big picture,’ identifying specific needs, and lining up solutions is just a natural part of who Barbie is as a person. She applies these skills as the Stage Manager for Main Street Arts theater productions, having served in that role for productions of Chicago, Sweeney Todd, and Jesus Christ Superstar at the Bellows Falls Opera House, and now as the Props Manager for the upcoming production of Into the Woods.
She uses these organizational skills at Senior Solutions, where she emphatically states, “it is seldom that we can’t find a solution to a client’s problem.” Combining efficiency with empathy, Barbie doesn’t quit until she has found a solution (our interview was almost postponed because she was determined to find a placement for a stray cat – but, of course, she succeeded!)
Barbie has lived with her partner Ken (yes, “Barbie and Ken!”) in Saxton’s River for almost 20 years, where they enjoy flower and vegetable gardening and their two cats in their ‘spare’ time.