Written by Hana Tadesse
Othello Station Pharmacy sits on a quiet street in New Holly, which long time Seattle residents will remember as Holly Park, a low-income housing project. Ahmed Ali remembers the time before it was called New Holly, because he was raised there .
Ahmed grew up in the Hollies, riding his bike up and down the street and seeing the need for professionals in his neighborhood. Upon completing his Doctorate in Pharmacy at Washington State University, he worked in chain pharmacies, and learned quickly how inaccessible medicine truly was.
“Walgreens only takes three out of five insurance types available in this state. It makes sense, because those three will give high reimbursements. I don’t care about that. I care about being accessible to the community I am from.”
Ahmed knew that once he was able, he wanted to come back to serve his rapidly changing neighborhood. He encourages others to as well. He believes strongly in leaving to perfect your craft, returning to your neighborhood, and setting up shop.
Othello Station Pharmacy is a full service pharmacy with the goal of being as accessible as possible. The pharmacy takes all insurance types and offers immunization, preventive care, and counseling. Ahmed believes people in his community are more comfortable talking to him. In many cases, he goes above and beyond what others will do for their patients and serves as a liaison between doctor and patient, happily.
Ahmed is more than just a pharmacist – he is a staple in the community. He often speaks at Franklin and Garfield High Schools on career days and has written over ten recommendation letters for students applying to medical school. He runs a nonprofit, The Somali Health Board, and is a mentor to various students in his neighborhood of Othello.
“If I can make a difference anywhere, it’s going to be here in my neighborhood,” Ahmed says. Congratulations, Othello Pharmacy, on being our November 2019 Small Business of the Month ! You can learn more about the Othello Station Pharmacy on their Facebook page.