Welcome to LifeLabs new normal: agile, innovative and even more caring. As I write this message, we are at last emerging from the grip of COVID-19 and settling in to the ‘new normal’ … or what we now call the ‘better normal’.

Like all Canadians, we at LifeLabs are relieved to see the hardship and suffering of the pandemic gradually lifting. And we are grateful for the positive changes that were triggered by the enormous challenges of the past two years.

For employees, our better normal includes more flexible working arrangements; a more active and intentional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion; a stronger web of wellness and mental health supports; and a powerful sense of teamwork. We can proudly say we were there for our customers throughout the pandemic, rapidly adjusting our services and protocols to help Canadians live, work and travel safely. Access to our services has never been easier or more convenient.

Over the past two years, our LifeLabs people have pulled off amazing feats of agility and innovation. We went outside of our comfort zone and used our expertise to accomplish any number of ‘firsts’. Using drones to fly health care supplies to remote communities in British Columbia, helping the public health agency deliver vaccines in Saskatchewan, and partnering with Fionet Rapid Response Group to introduce on-site automated COVID-19 testing for small businesses in Ontario are just a few examples. Under normal circumstances, these advancements would have taken months or years; now, we can pivot in weeks, or even days.

I want to emphasize that what’s made these exciting advances possible is one thing and one thing only: our people. Throughout the pandemic our people held fast to our values of caring, agility, customer-centric and teamwork. They went above and beyond their duty in supporting each other and their communities. I believe their ability to do this and stay resilient is rooted in a strong sense of purpose and responsibility to our customers. They are truly committed to our vision: empowering healthier Canadians. Of course, that’s always been true of our LifeLabs people. What’s new is that the struggle of the pandemic has unleashed our entrepreneurial spirit. We now know just how much we are capable of as a team.

As we move ahead and shift our focus away from COVID-19, we will build on what we’ve learned and continue to innovate to provide Canadians with accessible, high-quality services that meet their changing needs. I’m inspired by the energy and excitement across the organization. I believe you’ll be inspired, too, as you read our community report for 2021.

Kindest regards,