Brian Hemstreet, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, received both his B.S. degree in pharmacy and his Pharm.D. degree from the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Albany, New York. He then completed residencies in pharmacy practice and adult internal medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. From 2000 to 2013, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. During this time, he maintained a clinical practice as a member of an interdisciplinary inpatient adult medicine team at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. From 2008 to 2013, he also directed the school’s Pharmaceutical Care Learning Center, an active learning laboratory used to simulate and assess clinical pharmacy practice scenarios. In January 2014, he then joined the faculty at the Regis University School of Pharmacy, where he served as assistant dean for student affairs until June 2018. The following month, he rejoined the faculty at Skaggs School of Pharmacy, where he currently serves as professor and associate dean for student affairs.
Hemstreet has always been passionate about the sciences and helping others. While growing up in rural Upstate New York, he had draft horses and lived in a farming community, with plans to pursue veterinary medicine. However, his plans changed when he shadowed an older cousin in a community pharmacy and learned of the pharmacist’s role on the health care team. Later, as a student pharmacist, he became passionate about clinical pharmacy in the acute care setting, as well as teaching after serving as a teaching assistant for the school’s pharmaceutics course. During residency, he focused on inpatient adult medicine, which ultimately led to his first position as a clinical faculty member at the University of Colorado.
Now as associate dean for student affairs, Hemstreet oversees the Office of Student Services at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy. The office includes nine staff members devoted to a variety of areas, including outreach and recruitment, admissions, career services, student wellness, and student academic and professional support. He works extensively with the school’s student leadership and oversees the school’s student council and other student organizations. In addition, he collaborates with the other health care training programs at the Anschutz Medical Campus on various interprofessional initiatives. Moreover, he continues to teach in the area of GI therapeutics in the school’s on-campus and online programs.
Hemstreet uses several strategies to create an inclusive and cohesive work environment. For instance, he ensures every member of the team clearly understands their roles and responsibilities and how their efforts fit into the goals of the team. Furthermore, he ensures that team members are familiar with other team member roles, thus allowing everyone to know the individuals they can go to for specific questions and limiting confusion. Meeting with his team regularly one-on-one and as part of a group promotes good lines of communication and allows for frequent team building and development. Team members always have permission to speak constructively about concerns and to seek help from the team in managing any challenging situation that might arise.
Hemstreet also sees advocacy as an often-overlooked, intimidating, but important area to get involved with.
I believe getting directly involved in local advocacy efforts is a great way to gain some experience and learn about the processes involved. In most instances, your local or state pharmacy association is involved with legislative efforts that impact various aspects of pharmacy practice.
He highlights multiple ways to get involved in advocacy, including writing letters to your local and national representatives, participating in your state’s Legislative Day to speak directly with legislators on current issues, and testifying on state boards on behalf of the profession. Moreover,
If you can couple these efforts with an area of pharmacy that you are passionate about, that only makes the outcomes more rewarding. Overall, any form of advocacy that directly showcases the impact that pharmacists have on patient care serves the greater good of the profession.
Besides advocating for the profession and supporting pharmacy students, Hemstreet can be seen riding his bicycle throughout the Denver area with his Masters Cycling Team or skiing the slopes with his two high school–aged children. Since the COVID pandemic began, he has also been learning to play the guitar. What’s more, he and his wife share a love of science fiction, as evidenced by the names of their dogs: Riddick and Ripley.
Hemstreet’s advice to trainees and pharmacists is “to get involved early with ACCP organizational service,” which, he notes, “may be as simple as volunteering for a committee, serving as a mentor to others, or contributing to a PRN newsletter or social media post.” Showing the willingness to serve “will often lead to other larger opportunities within the organization.” Also, he writes,
Attend national meetings. Networking at meetings is an invaluable aspect of participating in national organizations and has benefited me greatly in building long-lasting relationships with colleagues across the country and around the world.