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LifeLabs and PAFCF partner to provide improved diagnostic services for people with autism

$150,000 donation from LifeLabs will support a more positive blood collection experience for individuals with autism

 
VANCOUVER, December 8, 2015 – LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services ("LifeLabs") is very pleased to partner with the Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation ("PAFCF") to support a more positive blood collection experience for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder ("ASD") and their families. Over the next four years LifeLabs is investing $100,000 towards the construction of a specimen collection centre within the GoodLife Fitness Autism Family Hub (the "Hub") in Richmond. The specimen collection centre in the Hub, and the eight spoke locations across BC, will be supported by a $50,000 donation in services provided by LifeLabs medical laboratory assistants specially trained to work in a caring, compassionate and appropriate manner with individuals with autism. Mobile laboratory services will also be offered in rural and remote communities across BC to support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are unable to access the Hub or one of the spoke locations.

"LifeLabs is committed to using our knowledge and resources, and the dedication of our people, to help Canadians live healthier, longer and more productive lives," said Sue Paish, President and CEO of LifeLabs. "Through this partnership with the Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation, LifeLabs employees will make sure that diagnostic treatment is safe, effective and comfortable for people with autism and their families."

Many individuals with autism must be fully sedated to have their blood drawn, which in addition to being traumatic for them and their families, often delays early diagnosis and treatment of other medical conditions for those individuals and can increase the costs to the healthcare system. Over the past year, LifeLabs has developed specific guidelines designed to take into account the needs of individuals with autism in order to support a more positive experience and increase the likelihood of a successful diagnostic test. In the coming months these guidelines will be put to use at the Hub and spoke locations and across the LifeLabs' province-wide network of collection centres.

"This partnership with LifeLabs is life-changing for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because, together, we're now able to provide a more compassionate experience for those individuals," said Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, co-founder Pacific Autism Family Foundation. "We're so thankful to be able to expand this reach across the province with the introduction of mobile laboratories so that more people with autism will now have the chance to get the care they need in positive and knowledgeable facilities."

LifeLabs employees have a long standing tradition of helping community health organizations reach their goals. A partnership with the Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation is another way LifeLabs team members can give back to their communities and provide better patient care.
"We are thrilled that LifeLabs is partnering with an organization that is doing such incredible work to meet the needs of those with ASD and their families," said Ms. Paish. "LifeLabs is dedicated to building a healthier Canada, and fostering a partnership that helps children and families facing the challenges of autism in our communities helps us reach that goal."

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About LifeLabs:
LifeLabs is a Canadian-owned company with over 50 years of experience providing laboratory testing services to help health care providers diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in patients. In communities across British Columbia and Ontario, LifeLabs delivers cost-effective, convenient access to laboratory testing services which are essential for optimal outcomes in health care. LifeLabs employs approximately 5,400 professionally trained staff and delivers over 100 million laboratory tests, supporting 19 million patient visits annually. In 2013, LifeLabs acquired BC Biomedical in British Columbia and CML HealthCare in Ontario making LifeLabs the largest community laboratory in Canada. LifeLabs is indirectly owned by OMERS Administration Corporation, whose interest is managed by Borealis Infrastructure. For more information please visit www.LifeLabs.com.  

About Borealis Infrastructure
Borealis Infrastructure is a leader in direct infrastructure investing with over a decade of investment experience. Borealis manages more than $12 billion in OMERS equity capital through investments in a diversified portfolio of large-scale infrastructure assets exhibiting stability and strong cash flows, in sectors including energy, transportation and social infrastructure. It has offices in Toronto, London, New York and Sydney. Borealis is the infrastructure investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada's largest pension funds with net assets of more than $72 billion. For more information please visit www.borealis.ca or www.omers.com.

About Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation 
Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation (PAFCF) is a charitable organization with a mandate to serve the needs of individuals with autism and all related disabilities and their families across their lifespan. The Foundation will open a series of hub and spoke-modeled centres in the fall of 2016. The main hub, "Goodlife Fitness Autism Family Hub" located in Richmond, British Columbia, will become a centre of excellence linking together state of the art resources for assessment, treatment, education-support and research.  The hub will provide a "one-stop-shop" for families looking for support in their navigation of information and services. To learn more about Pacific Autism Family Foundation visit: www.pacificautismfamily.com

Media contact:

Stephanie Sayer
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services
416-675-4530 ext. 2015
Stephanie.Sayer@LifeLabs.com

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