Dr. Ballas has always been driven by her passion for animals, ethics, and science. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, with a concentration in Ethics, from Smith College. After graduating, she and two friends bicycled across the United States, from Seattle to New York. She then returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern Virginia for three years, where she worked for the Humane Society.
Pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine was her logical next step as it combined her love of animals with her interest in science and ethics. She studied at Tufts University, both in the School of Veterinary Medicine and at the Center for Animals and Public Policy, receiving her DVM in 2000, and completing her Masters in Animals and Public Policy in 2001. Tufts recognized Dr. Ballas with the VetSmart Human-Animal Bond Award in 2000 for her successful efforts to improve the policies and procedures for animals at Tufts.
Dr. Ballas first worked as an emergency/critical care veterinarian in Massachusetts and then moved to New Mexico, where she worked both in emergency/critical care and in general medicine. In 2008, Dr. Ballas returned to the mountains of North Carolina where she became the Medical Director and Co-Owner of Beacon Veterinary Hospital. She then spent 6 years practicing medicine as a member of the teams at the Animal Hospital of North Asheville, 4 Paws Farewell Mobile Pet Hospice, Palliative Care and Home Euthanasia, and National Veterinary Associates. Dr. Ballas joined Asheville Veterinary Associates in September 2021. She is delighted to be working in a practice that is aligned with her goals of providing quality care while minimizing stress and anxiety, and helping preserve the human-animal bond.
Dr. Ballas, of course, greatly values her time with her own beloved pets and family. She has three cats: Alfre, who loves to participate from a safe social distance, Enzo, who insists on playfully and annoyingly pouncing on all the other pets, Charlie, who charms everyone he meets. Not to be outdone, the dog contingent is: a Boston Terrier/German Shorthaired Pointer mix named Seven (of Nine), whose talent is her love of learning and performing tricks; and two goofy Boxers named Ali and Siena, who love each other and their family with boundless boxer enthusiasm. Completing the family is her partner, Lisa, a Primatologist at Clemson University.
Dr. Ballas enjoys bicycling, hiking, camping, reading, watching movies, and watching football.