It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Naseem Somani. Known as a humble, passionate, compassionate and pragmatic leader, Naseem created and modeled a culture at Dynacare that directly reflected her own strong character and values. Her vision and leadership were driven by her passion for Dynacare, the laboratory industry and the Canadian healthcare system, as well as her optimism for the future.
Having immigrated to Canada in 1974, Naseem was acutely aware of and grateful for the opportunity she and her family were provided by coming to Canada – her passion to improve Canada’s healthcare system stemmed from a genuine desire to ‘give back’ to a country that gave her so much.
Naseem began her laboratory industry career in 1987 with Park-Med Laboratories (acquired by Dynacare in 1991) where she served as Controller. Even prior to her appointment to CEO of Dynacare in 2005, Naseem was a visionary. In 1996, as the Vice-President of Operations and General Manager of the company’s Central Ontario Division, Naseem led the consolidation of the Dynacare and North Peel laboratories. This was no small undertaking as it brought together two very different organizational cultures and thus required a leader who could build bridges, bring people together and create a shared sense of purpose. This led to the creation of one of the largest laboratories of its kind in Ontario.
After becoming CEO in 2005, Naseem led Dynacare’s expansion into Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. In the following decade, Naseem led Dynacare’s transformation from an Ontario-based community lab to one of Canada’s largest providers of laboratory services. Naseem also initiated and led the company’s transformation from a laboratory company into a health and wellness solutions leader. She spearheaded several ground-breaking innovations, including the digitization of the patient experience, that were critical in the development of LabCorp Diagnostics’ recent transformational changes. Under Naseem’s leadership, Dynacare received a number of awards, including Canada’s Top Employer award in 2009 and 2010, Top GTA Employer from 2011 to 2018, and Achiever’s Most Engaged Award in 2018.
Naseem also had a strong impact on the company’s organizational culture. The Dynacare mission “to support healthy lives with commitment and care” was a direct reflection of her own commitment to the healthcare system in Canada. She wove this passion and caring for people into every business decision and made certain that her managers did so as well. She was a Chief Executive who led her organization to successful growth in rapidly changing and often challenging times – while inspiring employees through her boundless ambition and vision, her sincerity and her genuine respect and care for those with whom she worked. Above all, Naseem was most passionate about the people who worked at Dynacare. She had a very personal touch, genuinely and meaningfully connecting with employees all across Canada.
Not only was Naseem a role model to the thousands of employees within Dynacare, but also more broadly for women, immigrants, and business professionals across Canada. In 2001 Naseem was named Professional Woman of the Year by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce – an award which recognized the exceptional accomplishments and positive impact she has had on her business, her community and society in general. In 2018, Naseem was awarded Canada’s Top 25 Immigrants Award by RBC. This coveted national award recognizes the achievements and accomplishments of inspirational Canadian Immigrants who have made a positive impact on their communities since arriving in Canada.
In July 2018 Naseem made the very difficult decision to retire from her role of CEO after more than 30 years of dedicated service and innumerable contributions to the organization. Her new leadership role as Chair of the Dynacare Board gave her the opportunity to continue to be close to Dynacare while spending more time with her family.
An exceptional wife, mother, leader, colleague and friend, Naseem will truly be missed by everyone who knew and worked with her. She has left behind an indelible legacy.