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We are IH: Rikki Barden

We are IH: Rikki Barden
We are IH is a recognition campaign to spotlight Interior Health employees and medical staff – through pictures and stories. 
Name: Rikki Barden Worksite: Supervised Consumption Site, Kamloops Years of Service: 3.5 Job Title: Social Worker

“You don’t know what you don’t know, is a quote I find myself saying a lot. I have no problem acknowledging that even though I can be looked at as the all-knowing professional who should have all the answers and cures for people’s problems, I do not. And that’s ok. It creates an opportunity to learn something new either by myself or with my clients. I think that being honest about the extent of my knowledge can create opportunities for clients to take on the teaching role and be the experts in something, which is invaluable when building and maintaining relationships. ” -Rikki Barden, Social Worker, Kamloops


Rikki’s optimistic outlook, easy-going personality, and welcoming nature puts smiles on the faces of those around him. His infectious energy seeps through the worksite creating a positive environment and a safe place for people to come together. As a Social Worker for Interior Health at a Safe Consumption Site in Kamloops, Rikki feels grateful to have what he describes as the best job he could ask for. Supported by his incredible coworkers and community, he builds relationships every day that are meaningful and inspirational. Social Workers are an integral part of our health care system providing essential services. To help us celebrate the essential service of Social Workers, Rikki has graciously shared his journey as a Social Worker at Interior Health. Breaking down barriers and stigma for stereotypical views of drug users, he works to support and educate others. Rikki is the first to lend a helping hand and support someone in need. Feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction guiding people through systems that can be overwhelming, he feels privileged to earn their trust and hear their stories. Seeing the ripple effect of each positive change in someone’s life, is very rewarding, especially to know that future generations will be positively impacted. One of his proudest moments at Interior Health is one that brings a smile to his face reading the precious words written by a client’s mother. “He was very encouraged and deeply grateful to find his illness so accurately represented. The last write-up on the report brought us both to tears. Thank you for being the caring human being that you are, people like you are so rare. So rare that if you were a butterfly we would have you nicely framed”. Born and raised in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, England, his family relocated continents to Kamloops, where he has lived most of his life and where he is currently raising his own family. Outside of work, you can find Rikki with his pride and joy, his partner Krissy, and his little girl, Ripley. They love to spend most of their time together playing outside kayaking in the summer or inside playing video games and enjoying a movie, preferably one with Hugh Grant in it. Looking forward to a time where you can be closer than six feet with family and friends, playing softball, frisbee golf, and just simply enjoying the beautiful outdoors together. In his line of social work, he is hopeful for a future where a safe supply is readily available and accessible. Thank you, Rikki, for all that you do! We appreciate you.
Nominate your colleagues to keep the We Are IH loop going: Name: Gaudenza Ramunno, Nurse, Kamloops Message: Guadenza is amazing. She went back to school in her 40’s, after raising four kids. She became a nurse and spent many years with public health as a street nurse. She has pioneered many start-up programs and has been the main fixture on the Kamloops Safe Consumption Site for almost five years. She was awarded Kamloops’s mentor of the year and is many people’s first call when looking to access flexible, primary nursing care.
Know an inspiring person? Nominate a colleague or join yourself with the We Are IH submission form To read more We Are IH articles view here. For more information contact EmployeeExperience@InteriorHealth.ca.

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