Pharmacist Spotlight: Christian Hartman, PharmD, MBA, FSMSO

Pharmacy TimesApril 2024
Volume 90
Issue 4

Tell us a little about your career and what you do now.

I am the vice president of product innovation for UpToDate and Medi-Span at Wolters Kluwer Health. I first joined Wolters Kluwer in 2012 as the director of quality and patient safety solutions for the clinical surveillance and compliance business. I have a BS from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (MCP), a PharmD from the University of Kansas, and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. I believe technology can help solve some of health care’s challenges, and I am passionate about working with my teams to develop new strategies to deliver care efficiently.

You have a wonderful family history of pharmacy. Can you give some brief background on that?

I come from a multigenerational line of pharmacists. My grandfather graduated in 1952 from MCP in Boston, Massachusetts, and opened his own drugstore outside of Boston. My father also attended MCP and ran local pharmacies in Maine. His stores were in northern Maine, which is a much different place from Boston, which has a robust center for health care. I remember hanging around my dad’s stores and seeing him intimately involved with helping patients receive their medications. Twenty-five years after Dad graduated from MCP, I did, too. I took a different path and began focusing on medication safety and research looking at digital engagement and alternative care delivery.

How has this history, and now your daughter’s chosen path, influenced how you think about pharmacy?

I should mention that my daughter is a child of 2 pharmacists because my wife is also one. First, we are both excited to see her follow in our footsteps and become a fourth-generation pharmacist, as she is attending the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy. It has us reflecting on how the profession has changed dramatically, not just from her great-grandfather’s experience but also from that of my own and my wife’s. But I think at the root of every one of the Hartmans’ choices to become a pharmacist is the hope and focus on helping people.

How do you see the role of the pharmacist evolving in the future?

The pharmacy industry is on the brink of immense change as health care professionals increasingly turn to digital tools to help in their jobs and to play an even larger role in patient outcomes. It is also attracting a broader range of people because of the more diverse set of roles being created. For example, we are seeing pharmacists leading in non-traditional careers such as health care technology, health policy, direct patient care, clinical research, and executive positions.

What advice would you give your daughter, other pharmacists, and/or students starting out in the field?

The main thing is that the environment—both physical, such as where they practice, and the overall health care system—is changing very quickly. The public health emergency during COVID-19 was a robust driver of that change, where we saw traditional pharmacists on the front lines of the fight. So expect change but embrace it as well. Also, keep focused on your patients, keep learning, be adaptable, and keep compassion and empathy at the forefront of your interactions. The pharmacy profession is not just a career; it’s a calling and a chance to make a tangible difference in the lives of those who rely on our expertise. The next generation has a unique vantage point to blend tradition with innovation, honoring the past while boldly stepping into the future.

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