About Us

Debra Smith

Debra Smith earned her degree in pharmacy from the University of Washington. After graduation Debra went to work at Market Street Pharmacy, which was owned by Ballard Plaza Pharmacy’s previous owner George Stimac. While she was working at Market Street Pharmacy, she had the opportunity to buy an independent pharmacy located in Redmond, WA called Interlake Pharmacy. At her new pharmacy, Debra began to learn about the benefits that compounding pharmacy offers to patients and prescribers. She began compounding at that location, and continued to further her education on compounding techniques.

Debra owned Interlake Pharmacy for many years, but found herself wanting more time with her family. She made the decision to sell the pharmacy to a local chain pharmacy, and began to work for them as a pharmacy manager. Debra enjoyed the flexibility of working in a large store, but missed the personal interaction that she had previously with patients. Most of all, she missed compounding and being able to solve problems for prescribers and patients.

In 2005, her old boss, George Stimac, was looking to retire and sell his compounding pharmacy, Ballard Plaza Pharmacy. George contacted Debra and asked if she would be interested in purchasing the pharmacy. Along with her business partner, Grant Ewing, Debra purchased Ballard Plaza Pharmacy in 2005.

Debra is a founding partner in an animal health company called Animal HealthQuest where she serves as Head of Research. She, along with 2 top veterinary ophthalmologists, created a vision supplement for dogs called Ocu-Glo RX.

Debra enjoys traveling, cooking, being with her family and friends, and spending time with her pets.

Grant Ewing

Grant Ewing earned his Pharmacy degree at the University of Saskatchewan while simultaneously completing his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. While in college, Grant played in many successful local bands. After graduation, Grant went to work at a pharmacy in rural northern Saskatchewan. There he had the opportunity to work closely with doctors at the Thunderchild First Nations Health Centre to provide medical care to the residents of the reservation. He moved back to southern Saskatchewan a few years later and began working for one of Canada’s leading franchise pharmacies. He worked his way up from a staff pharmacist, to manager, and eventually owned and ran his own successful pharmacy franchise.

Eventually, Grant decided that he wanted to move to the United States and drove the long journey from Saskatchewan to the United States. He obtained his pharmacy license in Washington state, and worked for several large chain pharmacies in King County. After working in large retail pharmacies for many years, Grant was looking for an opportunity to interact more closely with patients in a community setting, like he had in Canada. The opportunity arose for Grant to become a co-owner at Ballard Plaza Pharmacy, and he jumped at the chance.

Since becoming an owner at Ballard Plaza Pharmacy in 2005, Grant has immersed himself in learning about compounding. He has attended continuing education classes and symposiums offered by PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America) including education on veterinary compounding, hormone replacement therapy, pain management, aseptic (sterile) compounding, and advanced compounding techniques. Grant has attended many veterinary conferences including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, and the Veterinary Cancer Society. He is also a proud member of the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, as well as the American Pharmacist Association. Grant enjoys working with prescribers and patients to find the medication that works best for them. He loves the close interaction that working at Ballard Plaza Pharmacy allows him to have with both patients and prescribers.

In his off time Grant enjoys spending time with his wife, and their daughter. They like to travel, golf, attend sporting events and concerts, and spend time outdoors. One of Grant’s greatest passions is music and he tries to play whenever he has the opportunity.

Dr. Fareida Idrees

Dr. Fareida Idrees started her career in pharmacy as a pharmacy assistant at Ballard Plaza Pharmacy. She discovered that she had a passion for pharmacy and attended North Seattle Community College to earn her pharmacy technician license. Fareida graduated from NSCC in 1998, and continued to work at Ballard Plaza as a pharmacy technician.  During this time she learned more about compounding, and decided she wanted to further her career and become a pharmacist. Fareida attended Pharmacy School at the University of Washington and graduated in 2002 as a Doctor of Pharmacy. As a pharmacist, she has had the opportunity to work in many types of pharmacies such as long-term care facilities, hospital pharmacies, and retail pharmacies, however, compounding is her favorite. Fareida has attended continuing education classes from PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America) including aseptic technique (sterile compounding), and has attended a symposium on hormone replacement therapy. Fareida comes from a large family of 5 siblings; 3 of which are pharmacists! Pharmacy and a passion for helping others clearly runs in the family!

It is clear that Fareida loves the pharmacy profession, but she says what she loves most is being able to interact with patients, their caregivers, and prescribers. Her favorite segments of compounding pharmacy are sterile compounding and veterinary compounding for the challenges and rewards that they offer.

When Fareida isn’t helping others as a pharmacist she is busy trying to balance motherhood and her professional life as a mother of 4 children. She also enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.

Dr. Melissa Willis

Dr. Melissa Willis joined Ballard Plaza Pharmacy in 2009, shortly after she earned her PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) from University of Washington. Prior to earning her doctorate she studied Business Administration at Western Washington University, where she graduated magna cum laude. During pharmacy school she was a member of both the American Pharmacists Association and the Washington State Pharmacy Association.

Her advanced practice experiences include University of Washington Medical Center Anticoagulation Clinic and work with the University of Washington Infectious Disease department.

Melissa has attended PCCA (Professional Compounding Centers of America) BHRT and Pain Management Symposium, and she also works closely with PCCA consultants to provide high quality compounded prescriptions.

She has a passion for problem solving with prescribers and patients to find the medication that best matches the patient’s needs. Melissa enjoys consulting with patients so that they have the most complete information on their medications, and all of their questions answered.

As a resident of Ballard, Melissa is proud to serve in the community in which she lives.

Dr. Jim Coyne

Dr. Jim Coyne joined Ballard Plaza Pharmacy in 2016. Jim earned his PharmD from the University of Washington in 2010. He decided to pursue a career in pharmacy after earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics and working in benefits consulting for several years. Jim worked in a nuclear pharmacy for a few years before moving to compounding. He has been a compounding pharmacist since 2013.

Jim has lived in and loved Ballard since 2004. He is very excited to meet the pharmacy compounding needs of the people and pets in the neighborhood. When he is not in the pharmacy, he spends as much time as he can with his family. He also enjoys running and attending concerts.