Hi Integra Health Family!
Alyza and Sapna here!
We’ve been a little quiet lately online (although not in the office – if you’ve been visiting us in person lately, you know) and we think it’s about time for a reintroduction.
If you have a moment, we’d love to share a bit about what’s happened in the past two years and what’s in store for the exciting next chapter of Integra Health with you!
Where our story started…
From Integra Health’s conception nearly seven years ago, we wanted to reinvent the way healthcare was delivered. We wanted to make it easier to navigate, easier to understand and easier for you to get the care you need, when you need it.
We wanted a space where people could get access to timely and quality healthcare, as well as well-rounded support from a diverse team of passionate and collaborative practitioners who truly believe in your wellness while being all under one roof.
We knew, as two women of colour, that we wouldn’t be taken seriously when we said that we wanted to open our first flagship location in one of the most coveted buildings in downtown Toronto (the Exchange Tower). We worked tirelessly to open, knowing in our hearts that it was what the community needed to truly work hard and live well. And we made it happen in 2015.
Then in 2018 we opened up our second location in Commerce Court.
The past two years have definitely taught us a lot. We learned how to be patient, resilient, humble, and we worked really, really hard on not spiraling, like most of you. With no certainty of what was going to happen next, companies shifting to remote work, and the entire world constantly pivoting (that was definitely the word of 2020, right?) – well, so did we.
Our pivot, however, led us to identifying so many gaps that still needed to be addressed in our healthcare system. We decided that it was high time we created some comprehensive solutions to these problems.
You see, when we first came up with the idea for Integra Health, we promised that we would never be complacent and that we would continue to change, grow and evolve with the needs of our patients and our community. And true to that original core vision and pledge, we used the pandemic as an opportunity to serve our community in more ways than ever before.
Did we have low moments throughout the pandemic and this shift? Yes, for sure. We’re only human and like every other human on the planet, we definitely had our feelings through the low points. There were moments where we felt we would never be able to see the light again, but we persevered.
One specific low that hit hard was having to lay off most of our staff when the pandemic first hit and lockdowns started rolling out. Taking away people’s ability to earn a living and not knowing for certain if and when we were going to be able to bring them back or keep our lights on was awful. Beyond awful.
Those moments, however, also highlighted for us what an incredible team we were fortunate to have pushing through with us because they believed in us and our vision. (We always knew our team was awesome, but sometimes you need to go through something to know it all over again). And, we’re thrilled to be able to say that most of our team we still have alongside us today and are excited to continue to grow with.
Yes, the pandemic was one of the toughest challenges we’ve ever had to face, both personally and professionally. But during this time, we also leaned into what we do best – innovation and execution.
Some of our first pandemic pivots and moves included quickly embracing virtual care, staying open for urgent care needs and delivering over 300+ free community webinars to help people navigate the stressful and unprecedented (the other word of 2020) times.
We soon realized that we were doing something big – bigger than what we realized when we made the decision to pivot. This wasn’t a temporary solution; this was part of a much larger, long term solution that would involve new services and more dynamic ways to help in healthcare.
Over the past two years, our business has expanded, grown and flourished, but not in the most obvious ways. We continued to stay vigilant in putting patient experience at the forefront in our clinical services, but we also pursued new opportunities to help support the COVID-19 relief needs.
This looked like staffing vaccine clinics, providing corporate testing programs, and even helping staff some of the most popular film and movie sets in Toronto (sadly, we never met the celebrities ourselves, but many of our nurses got to, and to be honest, were we ever jealous)!
As the pandemic days carried on we realized that we weren’t just reinventing the way healthcare was delivered to our community, but we were also creating vital new programs and services for our corporate and community partners.
And thus, from all of this change and growth, the rebrand from Integra Health Centre, to Integra Health was born.
Over this past year we have been working behind-the-scenes on a rebrand and refresh to better reflect our updated mission, offerings and scope. We wanted to fully step into the new identity that our team and our passion has led us to.
This new identity not only emphasizes how much we care about the way we deliver healthcare to you and your family, but also moves us away from being Toronto’s most comprehensive health clinic and into our new role as a national innovation focused leader in the community and corporate healthcare delivery space.
And today we’re ready to share that rebrand with you.
To see the fruits of our hard work, dedication and sacrifices is surreal in some ways. As BIPOC moms running multiple companies, we have had to work harder, sacrifice more and explain ourselves louder, while simultaneously dealing with societal, social and traditional pressures. Oh, and that doesn’t even begin to address all the mom guilt, which is very real!
So let us just take this moment to say, don’t believe all that you see on Instagram, because we have had to sacrifice time away from our families (and at some points newborn babies) just to not fall behind and make sure we continue on our growth trajectory. “Was it worth it?” you might ask us. Yes, 100%!
Through all these challenging and exciting times, we’ve learned so much about business, entrepreneurship, our patients, our community, even each other, as well as the just out of reach unicorn called “work life balance.” (We prefer calling it work-life harmony, and are constantly trying to get better in attaining that harmony. It’s a process).
We’ve also learned that it is completely ok to fail and make mistakes, as long as you own up to them, keep getting up and try harder the next time. And trust us when we say, we’ve made some real doozies.
For example, two months ago our new phone system was installed, and it’s been a bit of a disaster. It’s been a source of great frustration for us and you, understandably. So much so that we’re changing it in the coming weeks, because when you ask for change or leave us bad reviews, we listen, we take it personally and we do our best to offer solutions in a timely manner.
Beyond our new phones, we’re really excited about all the new and renewed things that we’re working on, especially with the revival of many of our services that became less popular while so many of you stopped commuting to work. But we’re seeing so many of your wonderful faces returning after 2+ years and it feels so magical to know that you trust us and remember us, still.
On the patient side, if you take a look at our website, you’ll see several of our new clinical services. Two new offerings that we are beyond excited about are:
Integra Mindspace: a growing roster of counselors and therapists who are here to support your mental health and provide you with a safe space for growth, care and change.
Integra SkinLab: our bespoke skin clinic that examines your medical, lifestyle and cosmetic product history, and offers cutting-edge treatments to impact your skin from within for radiant, soothing and lasting results.
On the corporate side, we’re keeping busy with several government programs and projects, as well as working with many companies on creating better mental health and wellness solutions for their employees.
Our Corporate Employer’s Services deliver seamlessly integrated programs that boost and enhance wellness in corporate cultures across the country. Programming we offer includes COVID-19 solutions, employee health and wellness initiatives, mental health support, virtual care and much more.
We specialize in offering both on-site and mobile clinical delivery solutions to the patient community and corporate partners.
Plus, this fall we’re launching Circle, a digital concierge service that provides 24/7 full health and wellness care for your employees through an easy-to-use, efficient and patient-focused system.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing Integra Health team and Integra Health community for the continued support and belief in us.
We hope you love our rebrand as much as we do and we can’t wait to keep breaking even more glass ceilings as two POC moms who are just trying to make the world a better place for our community.
Please know that we couldn’t have and wouldn’t have done any of this without your support.
Stay tuned Integra Health Family! We can’t wait to grow and evolve into 2022 and beyond with you! And as always, we’re here to help if you need us.
Yours in good health,
Alyza & Sapna