R.A. Williams Library Celebrates the Fred Lee Special Collection

News Lisa Marie Esser

On Tuesday, January 15th, 2019, a special event was held in the R.A. Williams Library to celebrate and learn about the personal book collection donated by the family of Fred Lee, a distinguished leader in healthcare administration.

President Edwin Hernández, Dr. Ernie Bursey, Dr. Don Williams, and Dr. Jason Hines spoke at the event, honoring Lee’s contributions to the University, AdventHealth, and the healthcare industry. Other AHU staff and faculty were present to view the collection and share stories.

Ernie Bursey speaking at Library
Dr. Ernie Bursey addresses the attendees at the special event celebrating Fred Lee.

President Hernández stated, “Fred Lee was an extraordinary leader in healthcare administration with a keen insight for creating environments that encourage patient loyalty by providing superior patient experience. We’re honored to receive this donation from his family, and AHU’s students and faculty will greatly benefit from access to his personal collection.”

Fred’s friends, family, and colleagues were in attendance, including his widow, Aura Lee, who spoke about her husband and his passion for reading and educating future healthcare professionals. Aura has her own AHU legacy as former Chair of the LPN program in the first two years of the University’s (then known as Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences) opening in the early 1990s.

Library staff, AdventHealth foundation staff, and Fred Lee's family.
(Left-Right) Becky Fisher, Kathy Turner (AdventHealth Foundation), Terry Barter (Fred Lee’s son-in-law), Stacy Barter (Fred Lee’s daughter), Aura Lee ( Fred Lee’s widow), and President Hernández pose in front of Fred Lee’s book collection.

Becky Fisher, AHU’s Collection, Liaison, & Instruction Librarian, was one of the librarians who sorted and catalogued the extensive collection. Of her experience, she said, “When Fred Lee read a book, he had a conversation with it. In the margins and inside covers of many of his books, he added questions and ideas. His collection is rich in leadership, but great value was added with the comments of Fred Lee. It is a treasure!”

Library Staff and Aura Lee
Mary Rickelman and Becky Fisher pictured here with Aura Lee (Center) cataloged the special collection donated by Fred Lee’s family.

Fred Lee was a lecturer and author with years of experience helping hospitals and other organizations develop compassionate cultures that inspire strong patient and employee loyalty. He earned several rewards for his innovative approaches to patient satisfaction and served as a senior VP at Florida Hospital (now AdventHealth) before opening his own consulting firm. His expertise in the field led to a job with Disney to help adapt and facilitate seminars on cultivating quality service and customer loyalty.

His book, If Disney Ran Your Hospital, won the ACHE James A. Hamilton Book of the Year award in 2005 with over half a million copies sold so far and remains in print in five languages. Fred’s personal book collection is comprised of more than 240 titles and is a valuable addition to AHU’s library, particularly for students interested in healthcare administration and leadership.

On the value of the collection, Dr. Hines said, “The great value of housing the Fred Lee Collection here is twofold. First, it will allow faculty and students seeking to be leaders a collection of the books that influenced one of the great leaders in our profession. Second, the wealth of personal notes will allow the voice and legacy of Fred Lee to extend long beyond not only his lifetime, but ours as well.”

Visit the R.A. Williams Library to see this treasured collection for yourself!

Want to see more? Come Join us.

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