"Kesey based the story on experiences working at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., while attending Wallace Stegner's writing seminar at Stanford."
I worked at that hospital until early this year. I have a rather interesting perspective, as I decided to watch the movie after I toured the psych halls for a few years. One nurse remembers working with him.
....and may he find peace. One of the great books I have read was Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I had seen the movie first, but I enjoyed the book so much more. Told from the "chief's" point of view gave the book a strange feel like you were "in the fog."