Brooklyn, New York (PressExposure) July 24, 2008 -- In the wake of the tragic circumstances that led to the death of a woman on the waiting room floor of Kings County Hospital (part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC)), author K. Candis Best's new book Leaving Legacies: Reflections from the Prickly Path to Leadership (currently available through Amazon.com) offers an unvarnished look at what it was like to run another of the system's hospitals. Speaking about the Kings County incident, Best says, "When something awful like this happens, it's easy to write the entire system off as broken and unfixable. But there are also incredibly dedicated and concerned employees working in those hospitals. The challenges are real and the problems aren't easy to fix, but there is also a history of success there."
Best pulls no punches in her candid account of a highly politicized and at times self-defeating HHC system. In this memoir, she shares the various sources of inspiration she relied upon to combat the dysfunction and low morale that greeted her upon joining, moving up and ultimately off the corporate ladder at Woodhull Medical Center, another one of HHC's most notorious hospitals
Best writes about both the good and the bad that occurred during her tenure in an unflinching but balanced look at the system's problems and possibilities. According to those who worked with her, Leaving Legacies offers that and more. Norma Wright, who was a Senior Associate Executive Director for HHC and is now a healthcare consultant called the book, "[a]n easy read." Recalling her experiences at HHC she says, "even though I lived part of [the story], it is still an excellent guide. I remember becoming management for the first time in my life at HHC and the training, the instruction, the motivation - it wasn't there. My first leader there told me 'there is no roadmap or training, you find your way,' but 20 years later this book is it. Reading the book is like a roadmap for so many of us who need it."
Former HHC colleague, Christie Davis says of her experiences as detailed in the book, "[Candis] dealt with a staff that looked like they could not be helped. She taught and inspired them to do incredible things. She led from her gut and believed that they could operate at another level. I lived through this with her and as staff we were excited that she had a vision for us. Now as a director for a staff of 1,000, I try to take from what she taught me about how to put a good team together."
Spanning an eleven year career, Leaving Legacies introduces the reader to a host of eccentric and amusing characters, weaved among stories "too bizarre to be believed and too outrageous to be believable fiction." But what sets this memoir apart, are the moving narratives Best sprinkles into her story. The reader grows as she grows, enjoying the benefits of her reflections on leadership. Says Best, "One of my hopes for this book is that it will spark a dialogue about what inspirational leadership really means and show that you can make a positive impact under even the most dire conditions." Judging from the system's recent issues, it's a message that's coming just in time.