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Neal Patterson, Cerner CEO dies at 67

News broke out early last year that Cerner’s CEO, Neal Patterson was diagnosed with cancer.

Though the rest of the battle went with little to no announcement, the news of his passing as a result of complications of the cancer were the subject of headlines throughout healthcare news early this morning.

The official statement released by Cerner’s Vice Chairman and now Interim-CEO, Cliff Illig reported Patterson’s passing as a “profound loss.”  Illig and Patterson co-founded Cerner in 1979 and worked to develop the Kansas City-based company together for 38 years.  Local to the headquarters, Cerner currently employs about 12,800 people and about 24,000 employees worldwide.

A Vietnam veteran, Patterson served the Army National Guard prior to his beginnings at Cerner.  He attended Oklahoma State University and received his Bachelors and Masters there.

In 2001, Patterson made headlines for an email he sent out to his executive team regarding staff start and end times and expressed frustration at his management staff for not putting in additional time when needed.  Nine years later, he placed fourth on Forbes’ annual list of “America’s Best-Performing Bosses.”

In 2006, he became one of five owners of the Sporting Kansas City soccer team.

When Neal Patterson passed on Sunday, July 9th, Kansas City seemed deeply affected by the news.  According to the Kansas City Star, “city halls, the Kansas City Royals, the American Royal, and Sporting Kansas City fans prompted statements of grief and respect.  Patterson had made a difference to them all.”

At Global Healthcare IT, we would like to pay our respects to Neal Patterson.  Part of Cerner’s Mission Statement claims, “Healthcare is too important to stay the same,” and we firmly believe that this is true.  Cerner’s solutions have been implemented in numerous places in the United States and worldwide and has proven time and time again that development with the goal of positive health outcomes is what healthcare should be about.

St.Louis Post-Disptach
The Kansas City Star
New York Times