Released in 2018, "All the Cardinal's Men and a Few Good Nuns: A Hospital Story" is a book of fiction, although likely drawn from the people and experiences of author Ted Druhot's 37 years as a hospital administrator.
Hilton Head Islander Druhot's career took him to New York, Illinois, Indiana and Boston. It was during this time that the health care field underwent sweeping and dramatic changes. Hospitals had to adapt, from the highest level, and many became owned by health care management organizations.
This is Druhot's first novel and was 20 years in the making. In the books nearly 800 pages, he chronicles the story of the players and forces that drove these changes and the motivations and tactics used. There were also those outside of the health care field who became pawns in the implementation of this change, both knowingly and unknowingly.
For many years administered by the Poor Sisters of Charity, St. Anslem's Hospital in Boston is at the epicenter of this novel. With new eyes looking closely at the financial operations of St. Anslem's and making recommendations to boost profit, will this result in less focus on patient care? This is the priority of the Sisters, who fight to assure quality health care for all.
Business leaders and investors see enormous potential for profit and position themselves to take advantage, inserting their carefully selected candidates and using whatever means necessary to achieve the desired results.
Money is exchanged, promises are made, crimes committed, and the path smoothed for the shifting of power and take over of the hospital. The fallout is extensive and life-changing for a great number of people.
This ambitious novel is an in-depth portal behind the scenes of the health care delivery system at the highest levels of administration. The drama builds as multiple players with varying agendas scheme and strategize during the complex process of this transition.
This book would be recommended for those with an interest in health care, city government politics and the workings of the Catholic church's hierarchy. It is also a human interest story, as the reader follows key characters and how they played a part in the process of these changes, sometimes innocently, sometimes not.
In addition to his decades-long career as a hospital administrator, Druhot is a past chairman of the Catholic Health Association and held board and leadership positions at several hospitals and health care systems.
Now retired, he is a member of the Dixieland Jazz Society of the Lowcountry and performs regularly at the Jazz Corner on Hilton Head Island, where he and his wife reside.
"All the Cardinal's Men and a Few Good Nuns" can be ordered from Dorrance Publishing Company at dorrancebookstore.com and also through booksellers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Glenda Harris of Bluffton is a freelance writer and editor, nature lover and aspiring novelist.