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

When a USF Health faculty member publishes a book, some 30,000 people throughout the Tampa Bay area hear about it.

That’s because Gina Rathbun, director of Physician and Community Relations for the USF Physicians Group, has built a book program that includes a steadily growing email list for sharing the news about our published faculty. The robust program also provides an ongoing collection of texts for the Shimberg Health Sciences Library, thanks to generous donations from the faculty authors.

Gina Rathbun

Rathbun has promoted more than 70 titles since starting the program in 2011 – this month marks the fourth anniversary of the program. The effort is a win/win/win/win, she said.

“It helps the faculty promote their books and it helps the library archive the work of our faculty,” Rathbun said. “It also lets patients know we have many knowledgeable physicians who really know their specialty. Published work helps give them added credence. If you’re a patient, then wow! A book says this doctor has published in their field of work. I come from a strong corporate business background, so I know this sort of effort can help build patient volume, as well.”

The fourth “win” is for the students, she said.

“I’ve received emails from students saying they were so glad to have access to these resources at our Shimberg Library and that the texts really helped them,” she said.

The authors agree that the impact on students is gratifying.

“When you edit a book you not only create an opportunity for writing but you also mentor the young students and faculty to crystalize their ideas and help them grow in their career,” said Yashwant Pathak, MPharm, EMBA, PhD, professor and associate dean for Faculty Affairs in the USF College of Pharmacy and author of several books in Rathbun’s program.

Starting the book program was a natural effort; Rathbun is an author herself; she wrote Silenced by a Mission Statement: An Organization’s Cloak of Ambiguity, a paper published for the field of organizational communications while she was in graduate school. Rathbun holds a master’s degree in health and organizational communication, a bachelor’s degree in communication (both from USF), and a bachelor’s degree in business management (from National Louis University).

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So Rathbun knows the excitement you can feel when your work is finally in print and considers that feeling when she shares the work of others, a trait the faculty authors greatly appreciate.

“It’s wonderful that Ms. Rathbun has spearheaded this effort to highlight our faculty’s work,” said William S. Quillen, DPT, PhD, FACSM, professor and director of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences.

“I am grateful for Gina’s leadership in making this project happen for faculty,” said Lennox Hoyte, MD, professor and director of the Division of Urogynecology and chief medical information officer for USF Physicians Group.

“The opportunity to share my book with my colleagues at USF Health was great!” said Rebecca M. Lopez, PhD, ATC, CSCS, assistant professor and director of the Post-Professional Graduate Athletic Training Program in the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “We are all busy, and we don’t always have a chance to share the projects we are working on with our colleagues.  Gina’s faculty book program is a great way for USF Health faculty to share the great news when a book is finally complete!”

Before joining USF, Rathbun spent 10 years working for the Tampa Port Authority, marketing the fledgling port and selling commercial real estate throughout the port, downtown and channel areas of Tampa. As director of cruise marketing, her efforts are credited for the increase in passengers coming to Tampa’s port (from 250,000 to more than 800,000 over five years), and for bringing Royal Caribbean cruise line to Tampa’s port.

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Topics for the USF Health faculty book program run the gamut. Most dive into the details of our bodies from head to toe. A few branch out a bit, offering test strategy, even poetry.

“Our physicians have contributed a wealth of information over the past several years.” Rathbun said. “When I came here, I wanted to showcase the depth and breadth of knowledge in our health care providers. It’s really a celebration of their scholarly and artistic talents.”

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Photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Office of Communications