“Awards aren’t what drive us,” says Dr. Caley Shukalek, PurposeMed’s chief medical officer. “But recognition like this helps us know that we’re on the right track for our patients.”
Shukalek’s response to the win lines up with the award the business took home at the Start Alberta event in Calgary’s Grand Theatre on November 17, 2022.
The ATB 2022 ESG Impact Award was created to celebrate Alberta companies with a demonstrated commitment to Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.
“PurposeMed is helping underserved communities in very different areas of health,” says Wes Jardine, Managing Director of Diversified Corporate Banking at ATB, who presented the award. “It made a lot of sense to us from a social and governance perspective. And they were certified as one of the best workplaces for mental wellness, inclusion and overall in Alberta, so that covers the ‘G’ for me as well.”
PurposeMed, founded in 2020 by Dr. Husein Moloo, Pete MacLeod, and Amaan Banwait, provides a tech platform to connect healthcare professionals with patients.
“Our founders wanted to improve healthcare in rural areas and among Indigenous populations” says Shukalek. “We’re about breaking down the barriers of access. Around 25% of Canadians don’t have a family doctor or need to travel long distances to reach them. There are a lot of Canadians who have unmet needs in both of the areas where we operate.”
Those areas are HIV prevention and mental health care. PurposeMed operates separate brands for each service. Frida is PurposeMed’s mental health brand, with a special focus on ADHD treatment and diagnosis.
Freddie, PurposeMed’s HIV service, is now the largest prescriber of PrEP in the country.
“PrEP is ‘pre-exposure prophylaxis,’” explains Shukalek, a physician with specialist training in HIV prevention and treatment. “It can reduce your risk of acquiring HIV by up to 99%.”
In two years, PurposeMed has boosted the number of Canadians on PrEP by upwards of 30%. It has also grown to serve Canadians in six provinces and garnered widespread recognition, including from the C100.
“We’re a private business but we’re also mission driven,” says Shukalek, who still maintains a clinical practice and does admin work for Alberta Health Services. “If we raise awareness with a patient and that gets them to get PrEP from their family doctor, we’re still winning in our minds.”
ATB is committed to supporting companies that help build stronger communities in our province. To learn more about PurposeMed's journey to successful startup, click here.