More than 100 faculty-written textbooks shared to all, thanks to Gina Rathbun

USF Health faculty, students, staff, and even patients, have all benefitted from the more than 100 faculty-written textbooks donated to the Shimberg Health Sciences Library, thanks to the creative thinking, initiative and boundless energy of Gina Rathbun, MA, director of Physician Relations Coordination and Outreach for USF Health.

For this effort, as well as several other initiatives, Rathbun was recognized and thanked at a special presentation Nov. 19 in the Shimberg Library, while she was surrounded by friends, family, and several of the faculty authors.

“This is a privilege, and my great pleasure, to honor you for your exemplary vision,” said Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, at the event.

“This Book-of-the-Month effort has now donated over a hundred books. It’s really important to appreciate what a great organization USF Health is and how smart our faculty are in producing that kind of output. Thank you, Gina, for coming up with such a great idea.”

Gina Rathbun (center) with her daughter Emily Wingate (left), her husband David Rathbun (right), Shimberg Library Director Rose Bland (back left), Dr. Charles Lockwood (back right), and Library Mascot Snitch (lower right).

For the Book-of-the-Month effort, Rathbun works with faculty who are publishing their texts and helps coordinate their donations to the Shimberg Library, resulting in an ever-growing collection of current knowledge. Started in 2011, the book program now includes 103 titles at an estimated total value of more than $14,000. In addition, she promotes the textbooks via emails to both internal and more than 30,000 external audiences.

Rose Bland, director of the Shimberg Library, who coordinated the recognition event, also presented Rathbun with a tribute: the inaugural award named in her honor.

“This is the first award we’ve given someone,” Bland said. “It’s named the Gina Rathbun award and will be given to those who bring other ideas that help our mission.”

Bland also presented Rathbun with the title Honorary Librarian, noting that Rathbun’s email promoting Dr. Karl Illig’s textbook on thoracic outlet syndrome caught the attention of someone with that condition. The person contacted the library and came in to read the text and then followed up with a note of thanks to the library, saying how much it helped.

“From this day you are now a librarian,” Bland said. “You are absolutely wonderful to work with, Gina. You’ve been gracious, you’ve been kind, patient as we go through the processes. And we so appreciate your thoughts and your idea to start this Book-of-the-Month program.”

Bland added perspective when she read from Rathbun’s original email that pitched the Book-of-the-Month effort more than eight years ago:

I think USF Health has a unique opportunity to recognize their prolific works and showcase them at Shimberg.

One of the key opportunities for marketing an organization’s services is publishing.  In fact, it positions the organization as an authority in various fields and reinforces its brand. And since we are a service organization, this would be wonderful to inform the faculty, staff and employees about what contributions our physicians are giving to their respective fields.

I would like to propose a Book of the Month at Shimberg to highlight our physicians’ works and bring more awareness to the valuable resources and services Shimberg offers.

In addition to the celebrating the milestone 100th book, Dr. Lockwood also praised Rathbun for several other initiatives she has impacted, including her physician referral efforts, her work in coordinating 40 outreach programs and support groups for patients and their families, and her work in the newly formed collaboration between USF Health and the Port of Tampa that helped us start our maritime clinic.

“Being able to have our medical students and docs go right on the ships and take are of these sailors has made a huge difference to these people,” Dr. Lockwood said.

With merchant marines spanning his family for generations, Dr. Lockwood said this project was especially dear to him.

Gina has also helped up increase our patient volume, he added, attributing Rathbun’s cumulative work to helping the USF Health medical practice plan reach the total of a million patients in the past year, a significant jump of some 30 percent over nearly five years.

Click here to learn more about the start of the Book-of-the-Month program, and about Gina Rathbun.

Gina Rathbun’s faculty book program celebrates 4 years and 70 titles