I had the great fortune to work with Neal during several CHC, Keynote, and Cerner townhall events. It was an incredible experience to see the process happen as he prepared. That experience was what you would expect working with the CEO; focused, intense, and ambitious. Neal has high standards and it is great fun to be part of those standards. One thing that I didn’t expect was that Neal was so approachable. During our time working, you could feel the high expectations and standards, but he was also highly collaborative and welcoming of differences too. I for one was very excited to work with Neal I asked if we could take a photo (this might have been before selfies where common). Neal graciously agreed. The entire experience is full of memories that I am thankful for.
Life may be or may not be long – but it should be big. It’s not about the gains during its existence but about volume left behind. Life is not about just staying ahead of others always, it’s about having followers and successors moving and accelerating through the path created. I’m proud to be part of an organization which was being headed by such a person who will exist not just in memories, not just among people of his organization – but also in his vision and creation that would keep on impacting larger world more and more to make it better.
Neal was a very open and honest, and forthright individual, and I am proud to work at Cerner and carry on not only his ideas, thoughts and dreams but move his legacy forward as well.
It is a great loss not to have a visionary like Neal with so much to be still done in healthcare. A person who started and led the systemic change to make healthcare better, succumbed to ever growing malaise of Cancer. Guess, it is nature’s way to humble us humans. Nevertheless, it may be how nature works. As humans we got to do what we got to do. Humans should and be able to do all in his/her capacity to take on challenges coming in the path and try with rigor and valor and win over them. That is a mark of a man. When a person grows beyond this and does the same for the society, it is takes him to greatness.Neal was one. The number of lives he was able to help, influence through Cerner was immense. As an entrepreneur, one the most satisfying things is to align commoners with your vision. It takes a leader to do that. Neal was very effective in it. Thank you Neal. May your family find strength to see through this loss.
I just wanted to extend my condoleances to Neal's family and close friends. There are no words in these times that bring comfort, however I just wanted to share my impressions and hope that the messages from around the world will bring some comfort and lighten to some extent these difficult times. It was a true honour to have worked for Cerner and have had the opportunity to exchange with Neal on his trips to Paris. His visionnary leadership was a true inspiration that impacted the culture and the philosophy of the organisation, influencing and shaping it to what it has become. His vision has transformed the face of healthcare and has had an immense impact on people : positively transforming healthcare around the world and directly and indirectly saving the lives of thousands of people.
Neal had me from “we were sitting on a park bench…”. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve heard the story of the birth of Cerner, and the early days of a small team making it happen. I had an all too brief run from 1997 – 2001, but those days, stories, and personal conversations have helped shape my career. A key point – “If you oppose, propose!” I heard this first delivered by Neal during orientation in 1997. I have used this simple statement with much success, helping to turn negative thoughts into good, working solutions; and helping dissatisfied users feel a valued part of the team. Thank you, Neal, for the opportunity to make a difference in healthcare. I am finally able to come full circle and rejoin the Cerner team in 2017; first as a contractor, and now as a full associate. I am thrilled with this opportunity, though saddened by our loss. I know the spirit of Neal Patterson will carry on, and that we will continue to carry on the mission of this organization and improve healthcare.
Firstly, heartfelt condolences to the Patterson family on their loss. I have not met Neal in person but being here at Cerner as my first job in my field of interest for the past 4 years, I do still remember the vibrant, authentic and passionate speeches by Neal at CHC every year. Will definitely miss his speech this year as it invigorates me and many other associates at Cerner every year. May his soul rest in peace.
Neal was one of a kind. I couldn't believe my good luck when I was able to join Cerner in 1991. It was and is a very exciting place to work, not least because of Neal's willingness to share his vision and passion with all of us who were part of it. I will always be grateful for the incredible opportunities he was able to create for all of us. My best wishes and condolences to all of Neal's family.
I wanted to express my condolences to the Patterson and our Cerner family and offer prayers for healing during this difficult time.
My family and I thank you for the life and purpose for which you lived. Your work allowed me to find a purpose and joy in the Immediate Response Center when I came to Cerner 21 years ago. We are indebted to you. Rest in peace. Your life’s work will continue on.
I would like to share an email that Neal sent to me as a new employee. My husband was diagnosed with stage four Melanoma during my six-week training in Kansas City. Needless to say, that wasn’t the easiest time of my life. I responded to Neal’s email and received a heartfelt response back. My husband has been through nine months of treatment with all signs of the cancer being eradicated. One thing I have learned from Neal, fight the tough fights, take nothing for granted and live every day to the fullest.
I am honored that I had the pleasure of being an associate of Neal Patterson. I will never forget his welcoming speech when Cerner bought Siemens. His stories were heartfelt and made me feel welcomed into the Cerner family. Neal’s knowledge of the healthcare industry and passion to “get it right” makes me proud to carry out his mission with the same desire to change healthcare for the better. My heartfelt condolences to the Patterson family.
A great human who made a huge contribution to healthcare. RIP.
Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. Your loved beyond words and missed beyond measure. May your soul rest in peace, Neal.
I’ve been with Cerner for 10 years and started just out of college. At Realization, there was pop-a-shot game and a few others. A fellow associate and I would play horse and get pretty creative with our trick shots. One day, Neal sat down with another senior executive and about 10 other associates for lunch. I felt silly for playing the game we were playing considering the circumstances. It wasn’t but about 5 minutes until Neal asked if we were any good at basketball. He challenged a quick shootout with the other executive and my buddy. He offered 5 bucks to the winner. My buddy ended up winning, but it was a tight battle and he got his money’s worth. He paid up, in fact, he gave him $20. It was a pretty cool first interaction to have with your CEO.
Even though I only have been with Cerner for a few years, Neal is well known and respected in the healthcare industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with Neal & his family.
May you Rest In Peace! Always enjoyed communicating with you. You will be missed at Cerner!
“The more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer-
With deepest sympathies.
Deeply saddened and shocked by hearing the sad news. I will definitely miss the ‘Neal Note’. RIP….
Neal was a true visionary with the unrelenting, unapologetic drive to pursue what he believed in. He inspired us to achieve the results to reach that vision. Only results, not effort, count! Kill a snake! You cannot OPPOSE unless you PROPOSE. Life lessons applicable in every part of our lives, not just our jobs at Cerner. I am proud to have worked for him and the company he, Cliff and Paul founded, for 22+ years. I am retired now but have, and always will, consider myself a part of Cerner. My prayers are with Jeanne and his family.
Thanks for the memories, you made made work not a job.
I remember several years ago when my son was in 8th or 9th grade (he is now 23). I had just won the first ever iPad in a First Hand drawing, and we were all sitting around the table playing with it. Sam asked, “Do you think that Mr. Patterson has ever met Bill Gates?” And I replied, “I don’t know, why don’t you email him and ask him?” So, Sam did. And within 2 days, Neal had replied to my son that he had, indeed, met Bill Gates. I will always remember that. Proud to be your associate 6222.
This photo was taken at the company wide town hall in 2011 at then Livestrong Sporting Park. Our weight loss team, Fit, Trim and Island Bound was one of the finalists in the Slimdown Throwdown. We were preparing to take a team pic when Neal, walking down the aisle, slid in and performed the smoothest photo bomb I’ve ever seen. His infectious enthusiasm will be missed.
Thanks for being Neal! We all needed you and will miss you!
My last professional interaction with Neal was at CHC 2016. It was one of the most personally inspirational presentations I've observed at CHC in my 22 years with Cerner. I took the time to share the video with my family and told them, this is why I do what I do.
The fact that Neal took the time to reply back to a single individual knowing how busy of a schedule this man carried… cool stuff! I appreciate to opportunity to help impact the healthcare industry.
Neal was not a CEO to me and many others. In 1987 when I started we were so small and starting out we were family working together to try to make the company successful. Lots of laughs and hard days of work, but it was all worth it. My fondest memories are when Neal used to walk around the WHQ campus and stop in to my cube or office, sit down and simply ask what I was working on or ask me my opinion on something. I remember others around me would be so nervous with Neal around, but I enjoyed our talks immensely. I also will never forget having Neal talking fishing with my husband and the two of them talking like they were fishing buddies. Neal your energy and smile will be greatly missed throughout Cerner, but we will continue your passion and mission.
I will never forget the day I meet Neal in person. I was still fairly young in my career and had been tagged to work on a special project putting together some reporting around our client base. I was the only one on the project in the office that afternoon when I saw Neal walking over. He came to the table I was sitting at and said “Hello, my name is Neal.” I was in shock and scared to be meeting Neal and explaining what I was working on. He listened, gave feedback, and then said “Follow me.” I followed him to the office of his admin and he told her to get me a copy of some reports because it would be helpful. He them told me to have a nice day and keep up the good work. After I collected myself, I remembered thinking he was just so down to earth and like any other associate. He truly thought of himself as an associate just like everyone else. I will always remember that day.
As a prior Cerner employee, I have many fond memories of Neal and his passion and sense of belief in his vision. As a friend, my fondest memory is when Neal came to Seattle when I was 12 to talk to my father about coming to start a sales group with his “small” company in Kansas City. I was awed as he opened up his suitcase/computer and walked through his vision and technology. His passion never waned. Through the next 35 years, Neal was a mentor and dear friend to me. Always, ready to envelop me in a hug, provide advice on life, the importance of my philanthropic activities and the first one to say “how are you doing?” With the passing of Neal, my heart is broken, but I know that the legacy he created will be passed on through family, friends, associates and community leaders for generations to come.
I was very surprised and terribly saddened to hear of Neal's passing. Neal knew what he was looking for and as soon as he found it he pursued it with absolutely no question but with a deep passion. It has been a long but fast road since those early days at North Kansas City Hospital. Cerner has lost a true visionary.
As an analyst working for another organization, meeting Neal and numerous other senior leaders during a “Contract Signing” ceremony in the late 80’s was a wonderful experience and set Cerner and Neal apart in how customer centric their approach was with all their clients. Neal’s unique and intimate approach in addressing healthcare is entrenched in all Cerner does and will be one of many legacies left behind by a great leader. I’m thankful to have known Neal and know he’s left us in good company.
My heart broke Sunday morning when I checked my inbox and found an email sharing the awful news of Neal’s passing. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of what co-founded and continued to put his heart and soul in for 6 years and counting. I had a few sightings of him over the years, mainly at large events like HIMSS and CHC where we heard him speak his vision, but I will especially never forget the day I happened to walk into the elevator one morning to be greeted by his smile. I was so incredibly star struck that the moment is a bit of a fog… but I remember being proud to tell him briefly about what I was working on as we traveled up the tower. He responded for me to keep up the good work. J I will try, Neal! Always. You are missed, but your legacy lives on.
Hugs and prayers, gone too soon!
I am saddened to hear this news. Thoughts and prayers to his family.
I would like to thank Neal for the opportunity Cerner gave me 7 years ago. I’ve been in healthcare revenue cycle for 30 years and no executive that I’ve ever met comes close to Neal’s vision, work ethic and drive for success to each of his associates. Watching him speak a CHC was always inspiring that drove you to go back and inspire your team to succeed. He was a “True Leader” by every sense of the words. You will be missed dearly.
There are many things to reflect on with your passing, but to me, the most impressive thing about Cerner is the culture of inclusivity you instilled across the company. Under your leadership Cerner never shied from giving young, green Associates big opportunities and big jobs…jobs that frankly we might not have been prepared for at the onset…but you trusted we’d find the right path and provided us an environment in which we’d succeed. I learned from you and your management team that hard work, sacrifice and accountability can win out over book smarts. And that a good dose of grit and edge (which you had both of in spades) carries the day.
I am still speechless since the news of Neal’s passing. He was one of those people who I thought would live on forever as he had so much passion for what he did. I remember meeting him on campus and he knew my name and what client I worked with. I was so impressed by him. I can’t imagine the loss his family feels and are keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I hope Cerner continues to be focused on Neal’s unrelenting vision for healthcare.
We are deeply saddened to learn of Neal’s passing. He was a true visionary, and his passion is evidenced in the people of Cerner, many of whom we’ve had the tremendous honor to work with over these recent years. His is a bold legacy, and will live on through his friends, his family, the people of Cerner, and the countless lives who have been touched by your company’s good works. Our condolences.
I first met Neal and Jeanne in 2002 while running for state representative of the 123rd District of the Missouri House of Representatives. I had only ever held a small city council position and had never run for state office. It just so happened that Neal lived in my district. I was told that I needed to meet the Pattersons and so I reached out to them, knowing very little about them or Cerner at the time. Shortly after, Neal hosted a fundraiser for my campaign at his home. I remember meeting him and being amazed at their down to earth view of life while running a fast growing healthcare IT company. He was gracious and kind to a young man that was a dreamer. Neal invested in this 29 year old, teacher, father, dreamer…and we won. The entire time I have known Neal, he was just a good person. He raised his kids like you and me. He worked hard like you and me. He faced life like you and me. What made him stand out was not his success, but passion. Neal had a passion for people and wanted to make life better. He loved changing healthcare and hearing the personal stories and journeys of others. Amid all the success and growth, he never stopped caring about people.
I first met Neal Patterson back in 2004 when I was at Cerner WHQ for a 6 week training. When I walked to his office, I was almost speechless to meet the main person behind Cerner, and even more speechless to know how casual Neal was to meet his fellow associates from the other side of the world. With his busy schedule back then, I was honored when he listened to a few topics that I had in mind. Within his strong mission and vision for Cerner, I also sensed his deep passion to do the right thing for Cerner clients and associates. His actions that day speak much louder than his many great and incredible speeches over the years. That passion he had is something that I will always remember. Thank you for being an aspiration to many Cerner associates. I find it very hard to find the right words to express the feeling and the honor to know you and be part of Cerner. May you rest in peace and may your soul be blessed for being the great person you were. I will forever be proud to be your fellow associate.
I always expected us in Cerner India to do good work that will eventually grab Neal’s attention. While meeting him in person will remain an unfulfilled aspiration, he has touched each of us in unique ways. He will continue to be very close to us in our hearts. We will hang on to each of his words and continue to be inspired by his calls for action to make him proud. My thoughts and prayers are with his dear family that, by extension, has become our family. We share the deep sense of loss and grief with Jeanne and the family and extend our heartfelt condolences from India. With deepest sympathies.
Neal was larger than life! May his soul continue to soar! My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Simply put…Neal was “the Man!" He made Cerner what it is today and other than talking about my kids…nothing makes me prouder than to reply “Cerner” when I get asked where I work. For this, we thank him and, although he’s gone, he will never be forgotten. Thanks Neal!
Like many in the healthcare world, I was greatly saddened to hear of Neal's death. His passing is a huge loss for not only Cerner, but for the healthcare industry overall. Neal was a true pioneer in the development of healthcare information technology, and the resulting impact for patients, providers and the system as a whole has been profound. As both a competitor and collaborator, Neal was in a class of his own, always bringing incredible vision and passion to his work. My sincere condolences to Neal’s family, friends and colleagues at Cerner. His impact on healthcare will be felt for decades to come.
The memories I can share with Neal is that in his own way, he has taught and showed us how to make a difference in a world we live in, and how to have a heart. It is with a sad heart hearing the news about Neal’s passing. I pray for his soul, I pray for his family’s courage and strength during this time. Myself and my family are forever thankful to Neal. Thank you so much. With so much gratitude, respect and admiration, Goodnight Neal.
Rest in peace Neal Patterson. You will be remembered for all the contributions in the field of healthcare, improving the health of communities ...
Neal, you have been the synonym of vision and you stay in our thoughts forever. My prayers and heartfelt condolences to his family. Rest in peace ...
I met Neal only by hearing and watching him speak on stage at the Cerner Health Conferences. One of a kind, was a step ahead and I have a memory of something he said or did from every conference I attended. But the one memory that sticks out is how much love he had for his wife – especially when talking about her cancer fight. Will be missed.
I did not personally know Neal but had the pleasure of working with folks at the company he built from the ground up. His vision and drive literally changed the healthcare field forever, and his legacy will endure through the millions of lives he impacted through his work.
After the recent CHC, I sent Neal an email and expressed my happiness at seeing him and wished him well in his recovery. I also let him know that due to his influences on employee health, that I was now a non-smoker. His email back to me was so thoughtful. I’m so sorry he is gone. His legacy will live on in me.
Neal, thank you! It was an honor and privilege to have met you and worked with you. I really did not think I'd be your last "IT guy." I was working hard to make sure you were taken care of, always trying to keep up with you and stay ahead of you. Quite the challenge I must say. I admired your work ethic, and often tried to compete with you. I remember one of the trips I took to FL earlier this year, where you happened to be there. You told me you had lots of reading to do and were not going to go to sleep until 3am or so. You led me by example, and there I was trying to keep up with you working till dawn hours of the morning. I saw you during some of your roughest days, but you still sat down and worked. I hope I made these past few years a little stress free in terms of technology. You will be missed, but not forgotten Sir! Thank you for being a great boss!
Sending prayers to Neal's family and friends. A good man whose gifts and talents touched so many in such a positive way and with an impact that will be lasting.
Neal was a good friend. We were in school together and he was always very nice, kind, fun and, at the same time, he was very scholarly and serious about his work. Very humble man, he continued his friendship with those of us in small town America when he became famous. We will miss him. I/we are praying for his wife and family. Rest in peace my friend.
Early in my career at Cerner, I sat in the 2800 building and frequently ran into Neal. One day I got on the elevator and the door shut and it was just Neal and I. I said, “Good Morning Neal”, with a confident tone and smile and he looked at me and said, “Well good morning to you, what are you doing at Cerner today?” I took a deep breath, looked him in the eye and said, “I am saving you and Cerner money today, how about you?” He smiled and said, “I’m trying to get those damned pens out of doc’s hands, sounds like we both have important jobs to do today”. Thank you Neal for the chance to make a difference, and for a career for which I have great passion! Safe travel home – I’m sure there are no pens in Heaven.
In 1985, several young entrepreneurs in Kansas City formed a group entitled "Council of Growing Companies." We were fortunate that Neal was one of the founders and an active participant. Neal was always generous with his time and his sharing of the key advantages being built at Cerner. As I look back over the years, it's obvious Neal was special and that he was a giant in leadership and vision. Our city and country are better because of him and I am grateful for having known him.
To me, Neal was always one of those bigger than life individuals. His impact on international health care is beyond description. So many lives touched, improved, and saved. Visionaries are those that can see beyond the horizon. He was certainly that. His work goes on because he saw past the sundown.
As a long time Cerner associate, the news brought tears to my eyes and is something I can’t stop thinking about. The one and only word I have ever used to describe Neal is passionate! Whether you agreed with his style/approach, you couldn’t argue with his message and his reason for being so passionate about the impact Cerner could have on people’s lives. I respected him immensely and have stayed with Cerner because of his compelling vision for Cerner and an industry that is so broken and has such a personal impact on all of us! I had the opportunity to work with Neal early in my career and what I loved seeing was him at work and with his family. This always showed a different side of Neal that I appreciated and made him more approachable and real! I feel blessed to have known Neal when our company was smaller and you knew everyone was working hard because they believed in what we were doing and would do whatever it took to accomplish it. Cerner wouldn’t be the company we are today without him. He will be missed, but his legacy is huge and hope we can continue to honor it! I am sure he will look down upon all of us and give us a little nudge every now again! I welcome it! My heart goes out to his family!
I’ve had the fortune of working with and for one of the best leaders. Through thick and thin, Neal always stayed the course. Even at some of our most fragile times he pleaded with us to stick with him, trust in his vision, and he never failed. Early in my career, when Cerner was much younger and smaller, I had my own battle with cancer. When the diagnosis came in and Neal and my leadership found out, he engaged some of the best resources for me at Cerner to help guide my decisions and make sure I had the best help possible. I will never forget the town hall a few years later where he focused on “one patient.” Coming from my own experience, I started to cry because the single act of having to write or repeat multiple times “I have cancer” took its toll on me and I knew exactly what he was trying to fix, I knew he GOT IT, and the best part…WE made it happen. Now in 2017, looking at our solutions and how far we’ve expanded outside of the four walls of the hospital, I know he had to be proud. I wish I could have returned the same favor he showed me when he got his own diagnosis, but hopefully he felt it in the hard work we have and will continue to do to carry on our vision.
Cerner created a culture of accountability and love that will continue throughout the ages. I believe Neal Patterson embodied his mission, vision and value to serve and help people. I am saddened to hear about his passing and I send my deepest condolences to his wife, children, family and friends. In a world full of leaders without integrity, I am happy to have worked for someone who had it and showed it as an example day to day.
I met Neal in 1982 in the beginning of our careers when we were both addressing Small Business Week for the KC Chamber of Commerce. I loved him the minute I had a few minutes to talk to him. Always inquisitive but quiet and humble at the same time. He passed the way he lived, in control, asking questions and planning, planning, planning. I am broken hearted for the loss of such a true and good friend. I just want to reach out and text him and see if he responds. He made my life, his family, the community, business and the world a better place to be in by his efforts and enthusiasm with everything he did.
I was deeply saddened to hear of the loss of our co-founder and CEO. When my site first transitioned to Cerner ITWorks there was a lot of concern and uncertainty about our futures and the future of our IT team. These disappeared after seeing some of Neal’s talks and the fervent passion that the man had for improving healthcare. Hearing him, in his own words, ramble on about the many ways that technology can make a difference in helping people really gave me and others in our group hope. It fanned those flames in us as well , we stopped being apprehensive of our future and instead were stoked that, we too, would be included in this company, this vision, to help people through technology. I wish I had the words to convey how important this was to us as a new group at Cerner and as associates moving forward, I can only say that I will always try to carry that passion to improve. Not to be complacent with “that’s how it’s always been” or “no one will go along with that” but to look at what’s there and say, “how can we make it better!” That’s what I’d like to thank Neal for.
After being at Cerner for 7 years, I had a son that was diagnosised with brain abnormalities. While not confident on what would happen, I was confident in being a part of an organization that was revolutionizing healthcare. Over the years, I saw the way health and care changed through my interactions at appointments for my son. I am so thankful to have been a part of Cerner and had the chance to thank Neal for his vision and passion. Neal re-energized the company and industry with excitement and motivation after his CHC speech. I look forward to continue and watch Cerner in the future. Many prayers to Neal's family, friends and all touched my his presence.
I met Neal my very first week at Cerner 16 years ago, and from that first dialog in orientation class, I was taken-back by his enthusiasm to improve healthcare and his commitment to his associates. Tens of thousands of us have adopted Neal’s goals and his drive to make this world a better place. He will be missed tremendously. Fortunately, he instilled a wonderful desire in each of us, and we will continue his dream. My prayers go out to Jeanne and the entire Patterson family
Neal was larger than life. He was creative and had the ability to think differently. With confidence and courage, he motivated others to act on his vision. He earned the respect of many and changed my life profoundly. I am greatly saddened at his passing and wish Jeanne and his family my deepest condolences. You will be greatly missed my friend.
Neal was truly inspirational in his perspective and raw transparency. At CHC last year, his presentation was a very special surprise, very moving. Our industry has lost a significant luminary. May peace be with his family and his associate family.
Neal was strong in his opinions and led with conviction, a sign of leadership is making a decision, charting a course and staying true to yourself. He was an imperfect massager, like all of us, on a crusade to improve the lives of patients and make healthcare more efficient. I hope his family and his Cerner family find solace in their memories through these difficult times and that the memories bring peace knowing that Neal was part of our lives.
I was a Cerner client, leading the Cerner project. Neal came to our hospital. After meeting with the CXO's, he came to the project room! He asked me to walk with him and started asking me questions about the project. I gave him my honest feedback and he started taking notes! I was amazed that he was that interested in my thoughts. But that was Neal, always interested in the clients' opinion, always interested in making Cerner better! It was at that time I knew I wanted to become a Cerner associate! I was an associate for 17 years. He changed my life. He was such an inspiration, such a visionary. It's still hard to believe he's gone. He'll always have a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, such a great loss.
I had the privilege of hearing Neal Patterson address the thousands of people at the annual Cerner Healthcare Conference for the past several years. Mr. Patterson never failed to “steal the show” from the other speakers, and he clearly had the ability to engage the audience and excite them about information technology in the healthcare arena. He had the courage to speak about his own illness and issues he had with our current healthcare system. I especially remember him relating his experience on the day he had to wait several hours to be seen as this particular organization was “going live” that day on a new system and Neal stated that “God really has a sense of humor!" My condolences and sympathy to all his family and friends.
Every once in a while you meet people who are doing exactly what they love and are called to do. Neal was one of those people. This news is sad. He was inspirational, innovative, provocative, entrepreneurial, yet personal. The world is a much better place because of Neal Patterson and Cerner.
Mr. Patterson’s words always challenged us to look for ways to provide the safest patient care. He understood the complexities of health care delivery and embraced the challenges they posed. And this is the man who did what he could to stay in tune with his clients as well.
I feel very grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Neal for 15 years. From early in my career, to as recent as April, I was lucky to get exposure to Neal in meetings, which I believe always made me think more critically and in general, just be better at my job. He was a true leader with vision and the edge to make hard decisions that would propel Cerner into the future. He will be missed greatly by his family, an industry that he loved and by his associates. I have always been proud to be a Cerner associate, and I certainly hope I get the opportunity to continue to help execute against his vision for years to come.
Astoundingly accurate vision and a will that could never be shaken, it was a privilege and an honor to have had the opportunity to learn from him. Rest In Peace Neal.
I have always been in awe of Neal and very inspired by what he has done for Cerner. Needless to say, somewhat of a huge fan. He attended the Masquerade Ball in 2015 and I was working the event as a social media “live tweeter.” I saw Neal come into the event and I wanted to tweet a picture of him for our feed. I basically freaked out before going up to him and very quickly told him what I was doing for the event and I asked him if I could tweet a picture of him, his response was, “absolutely, but only if you’re in the picture with me.” He was just so nice and I was so excited to have just a moment of his time. I love my picture with him and will always have that small memory.
I will always be thankful for the mission Neal propelled as Cerner truly revolutionizes HIT – what it does and how it is perceived. With his guidance, Cerner continues to be the bellwether in an expanding space. Through the years, I was fortunate enough to work client-side, associate-side, and consultant-side with Cerner. Though my work does not directly involve Cerner at this time, my work with Cerner continues to inspire and inform my career. Neal will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live long and prosper!
As a client, I had the distinct privilege and honor of meeting Mr. Patterson in 2013. Mr. Patterson displayed a genuine demeanor during our encounter, and when questioned about Cerner’s vision for the future of healthcare, Mr. Patterson was quite transparent; voicing areas in which he, along with his corporate associates were working tirelessly to correct. Over the course of the evening, I observed Mr. Patterson’s interaction with other clients, and It was very apparent; this guy has a true desire to improve the way Healthcare is executed, not only domestically, but on a global scale. I am conscious to keep the following motto in the forefront of my thoughts. It is true: Healthcare is too important to stay the same. On that night, I had one goal in mind, to seek employment with the Cerner Corporation. When you have a leader such as Neal Patterson, one should desire to strive to assure our healthcare system is equipped with the tools needed to improve patient outcomes. I am blessed to have been graced with Mr. Patterson’s presence, if only for one night. It was a night that will go down in history, a night that definitely changed the course of my career. I am proud to be a Cerner associate. I wake up every day with this goal in mind: Strive to make Healthcare better than the pioneers before me. Mr. Patterson, your living shall not be in vain. May your soul rest in peace.
I will always remember his speech at the yearly conference that included his experience with his wife and her healthcare. His emotions while speaking of his wife Jeanne were heart touching. You could feel the love he held for her.
We at ARUP Laboratories are deeply saddened by the passing of Cerner co-founder and CEO Neal Patterson. Our interactions with Neal and Cerner stretch over 30 years, and we have enjoyed the partnership of improving healthcare through information technology. Please accept our heartfelt condolences.
When I was brand new at Cerner, I was invited to a meeting to present. Neal happened to walk by the meeting room at this time and due to the windows he could see in. He opened the door and said, “You guys must be working on something tough if you've got one of my leaders praying! How can I help?”This stood out to me in two ways: A) his sense of humor eased the tension in the room and B) he had no idea what was going on and just immediately was willing to help without any time carved out on his calendar. This type of leadership (personable and willing to help) will be missed.
I remember Neal while attending my first Cerner Health Conference and sitting in the large auditorium listening to him speak about septicemia. He shared personal information about how it affected his family and his large drive to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else. As he continued explaining the septicemia model that was available to clients and how many it saved in the previous year, my cell received a 911 text from my mother. My father was admitted to the ICU for septicemia and I needed to come home quickly. I had to leave the conference that day but have never forgotten Neal’s mission and passion for what he does and why. He made sure the company and the work we do clearly makes a difference in people’s lives and it all started with him.
All my professional career in software development has been built and groomed inside Cerner under the bright shine of Cerner’s mission and vision and looking at Neal as the inspirational source and the visionary leader. I remember meeting Neal during our Compass class and remember receiving a few Disney figures from him as part of a “creating magic” theme. It was always exciting to attend our annual Townhalls, read Neal notes, or hear Neal speak and interact with him and see the tremendous passion and energy behind his vision. My sincere condolences to Neal’s family and friends and everyone associated with him. In Neal, we have lost our nation’s healthcare visionary leader, but in his life, he has given us the vision and shown the path to how we can lead the way while he’s not around. RIP, Neal.
As I take a moment to reflect on our CEO and founder’s passing yesterday, I am overwhelmed with pride and gratitude to have helped support his vision for the last 15 years. I had the pleasure of working closely with Neal for a year and a half on a client assignment and it’s something I’ll always treasure. His passion and leadership was truly inspiring and our industry is better for it. Not only was he a pioneer in the Health care industry, but his philanthropic leadership across Kansas City has helped build our City into such a desirable community to live. His contributions to HIT are well known, but there are many aspects of his community impacts to Kansas City that are equally as admirable. We lost an icon yesterday. I take comfort in the fact that we continue to deliver on his mission and his legacy shall live on through the work we all continue to do to make health care and the communities we live in better. I thought this was a fitting tribute to see the Cerner flag at half-staff with the City Neal contributed so much to in the background, so I thought I’d share. He will be missed.
This day comes as a sad day for me. Although I did not know Neal Patterson personally, I knew what he stood for and believed in and it was incredible to me. He not only cared about his fellow associates, he was concerned about the entire world. His vision to have our medical records available no matter where we went, so if a situation occurred, we’d be protected from any miss diagnoses. How I would feel at ease if that can become reality. Neal was a strong and courageous man and that showed to me the day he appeared on stage at last year’s CHC. I can only image the fight he put up when he decided to take the medical route he took to rid his body of that nasty disease. He was a great influence to KC and I know we will be sincerely missed by all who knew and new of him. My thoughts and prayers continue for his family and his legacy. I myself have come to understand life is too short to sweat the small stuff and encourage everyone of you to live life each day as tomorrow would be your last. Love others no matter what and remember everyone on this earth is important! We all have something to offer and contribute to this world and I hope for all of us, Love, peace, joy and happiness!!!
I was lucky enough to have met Neal many times over the past ten years and after reading what so many people felt in their heart to say these past few days, it made me understand why I enjoyed meeting him so much. Visionary, passion, caring, and an infectious smile are just some of the words used to describe him. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Patterson family and the Cerner family.
Although I never personally met Neal, I know he was an extraordinary person. I always enjoyed reading the “Neal Note” and getting an opportunity to hear him speak. His speeches were real and they made you feel his passion and love for his business, his associates, his clients, their patients and healthcare. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this sad time.
I think it will take some time to fully absorb the impact of this loss. Neal would often talk at town halls about the future and never left any doubt that he would be there. We have made great strides in this industry, but we still have great leaps to go. He talked to us about how much work we have left to do. That is still very much the case today. He may not be with us in body, but I have no doubt that he will be with us all in spirit. In this moment, I feel that sense of urgency that says we can’t wait to solve these complex, but important challenges. We had so little time to really learn what he had to offer from his experience up to the exciting moments of the CHC in 2016. Neal’s passing truly does feel like losing a family member.
I can’t say that I ever had the privilege of meeting Neal in person but I have had the privilege of working for his company for the last 5 years, hearing him speak and reading his Neal Notes. He has changed our family’s life by providing the opportunity to work for Cerner. He has changed the lives of countless others by genuinely caring for and investing in the improvement of health care not just in Kansas City, not just in the United States but on an international level; what an amazing accomplishment. Neal, in my mind, was larger than life with everything he built from the ground up and continued to give back. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that he is no longer here and what that means for the future, but I know that feeling is felt exponentially by those who loved him and worked side by side with him. His passion reverberates through his associates; we will continue his legacy and push forward with the 2020 Vision and beyond. My condolences, thoughts and prayers are with his family and those closest to him.
I spent 15 years working on the Cerner account. You never walked away from a meeting with Neal that you didn’t learn something. He was a brilliant visionary. He was also very down to earth. One day we stopped by his home and he welcomed me and my family with open arms. I’ll never forget the tour he gave to my Mom. ‘Mary, you’re going to love this chick bathroom’. My son works for Cerner now and I hope he can help carry the torch for Neal’s vision. Prayers to Jeanne, his family and everyone that he touched. He will be missed.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Neal but I wish I did. He was one of the most unique and humble individuals this world has had the opportunity to meet. He always thought of others and that is how he ran Cerner. Everything he did had the sole purpose of making everyone’s life better. His life work has proven this. It is an honor that I have the opportunity to work for Cerner. I try every day to live up to the great standards Neal has demonstrated. Thank you for all your great work and you will be dearly missed.
My name is Nelson Patterson, and my parents live in Kansas City. When I have visited there and taken them to dinner, I learned early on that I could always use my good last name and first initial to get a reservation nearly anywhere in town. But one night, when I went to Blue Stem, the hostess looked at me with some bewilderment and said I was not Neal. I noted I absolutely was not - I was Nelson. And from behind me, a voice added - "and we are not related, the best I know." Neal enjoyed the good laugh, and we shared many common friends as we both work in health care, just on opposite sides of the table.
I’m in shock. My condolences to Neal’s family and friends. You were a great leader and true visionary. We will miss you!
I was privileged to know a really great man who passed. Neal meant so much to me and my family. The kindness shown us when Rob (our son) passed knew no bounds. Neal had integrity, passion and commitment to making the world better. What he accomplished speaks volumes. But what people need to know was the heart and compassion he had which drove him. Recall how he spoke of why he wanted Cerner to develop the sepsis alert capabilities and you get a small measure. He was there in my family's moment of greatest need. You never forget that. I will personally miss him.
So sad to hear of Neal's passing. I first heard him speak at CHC in '94 when I was a client. I was inspired by his vision. So much so that I looked for ways to become a Cerner associate, and do my (small) part to help with the vision. That happened in 1996. It was always great to go to work with amazing people, and Neal, along with his colleagues, made that possible. Thank you Neal. And to your family, friends and associates, my deepest sympathies.
Thank you, Neal Patterson! Thank you for showing up at that park bench decades ago. For taking a chance to co-found a corporate empire with unprecedented vision, innovation and an amazing culture of fairness, humanity, opportunity and charity. Thank you for creating tens of thousands of jobs and delighting clients and better-cared-for patients around the globe. You put up the fight of your lifetime. I pray that you will rest in peace and that your family and friends may overcome the grief of your passing, so they can all celebrate the meaningful life you lead and hopefully soon remember you with nothing but smiles and gratitude.
Neal’s vision will live on as I speak of him often to my students. I had a graduate recite to her new boss one of Neal’s sayings, “People fear change more than they fear disaster.” Bless you, Jeanne and all the family.
Neal’s vision lives within the 24,000 who currently work at Cerner AND with the more than 25,000 who no longer work at Cerner. I can count many friends who have left Cerner and went on to start their own businesses. It’s not difficult to see that what Neal helped cultivate at Cerner has spread out around the globe within Cerner and away from Cerner. Thanks to Neal and what he started, I was personally able to work and see what Cerner cultivated in 43 states and 7 countries over the past 20 years. Neal always would tell the stories about his difficulty speaking when he was young and he would make statements about his ability to speak when he would be before a crowd. Of anything, I’m going to miss listening to Neal speak more than anything. Every speech, Neal Note, meeting, press release, or interaction, he may have thought that we didn’t understand his speech at times but all you have to do is look around any Cerner-related venture and you will clearly see that the message resonated. Neal, we understood you and we are going to enormously miss you. Be proud in that your life lives on within all of us that you touched. You showed us all what it means to live.
I can’t believe my final email to you is sitting in draft. I was preparing it to let you know I was retiring and to thank you for all that you have done. Your vision and dedication to changing healthcare and IT will hopefully go on with the people who follow you but no one can replace your soul. You will be missed my friend. Rest peacefully.
It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Mr. Neal Patterson - a visionary leader and forger of the path forward in health IT that few can replicate. It's a distinct pleasure to be part of a global movement and to join in on Neal's journey to serve, inspire and teach through health informatics. Sincere condolences to Neal's immediate family and to his Cerner family too.
I think my favorite moment has to do with Neal’s keynote at CHC. He isn’t the typical polished public speaker, which is no insult. Instead he spoke from the heart. I loved when he would lose his train of thought or go off on separate tangents. To me that is real speaking, and is what inspired me to apply to speak at a conference.
My deepest condolences to everyone affected by this tragic loss. Neal was a passionate and driven visionary. When I worked at Cerner 17 years ago, he was already discussing issues that are hot topics today. Neal demanded much and gave more. Not just to push forward his company, but an entire industry. In this process, he created an environment where thousands of young professionals could flourish. Kansas City was changed for the better because of Cerner’s success. Soccer has gained new appreciation in KC thanks to Neal. Neal’s passion for the First Hand Foundation was inspiring. I would not be who I am without my five years at Cerner under his leadership and am very grateful for this. I know Cerner will continue pushing the industry forward because of the talent Neal has assembled.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Patterson family during this difficult time. Wishing each of them peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. Neal’s spirit will forever be the foundation of Cerner. #RIP Neal Patterson!
Neal was a visionary and a maverick who helped to shape the health information technology industry. He charged and established Cerner as a health and care company who’s cultural DNA is his legacy of ideas for innovation that never tires or accepts the status quo. Instead we are driving and striving for continuous process improvement for a person-centered “system” of health and care. Those closest to him also know him as a Leader of Leaders who will continue to tend the seeds of change necessary. Neal’s leadership lessons: Focus, focus, focus – did I mention focus?; inspiration can come from times of uncertainty; change and change often with purpose, not just for the sake of change (I often say it is company core competency); our associates make all the difference and are our best asset – set expectations that challenge them, engage them, and hold them accountable; the conditions matter…live a life that matters as was his example for us all.
A year ago, Cerner extended a career opportunity to me that has truly transformed my life. It is a very sad day for anyone that has been touched by Neal's tenacity and vision. His legacy will reach far beyond this moment as Cerner continues to push the envelope of patient care and build a world class team based upon value and respect. Godspeed, Neal, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My first CHC conference, hearing him speak was truly inspirational. I had a much different view of Cerner and its leader after that speech. I will never forget it. I know all of Cerner must be mourning today and my thoughts are with you all.
I spent my entire life growing up the son of a business owner and I felt a strong sense of connection to Neal’s vision and how he wanted to change the world. I vividly remember going to my first “Town Hall” as an employee at Cerner and Neal gave a rousing speech about a connected community for the first time. At that moment I saw Neal’s dream. Still after almost 2 decades, everywhere life has taken me I have strived to make Neil’s dream come true. The world has lost a true visionary person but his dream will live on. Rest in Peace.
Neal was always kind to me when I met him back in the early days of Cerner. My condolences to Jeanne and all Neal’s family and friends.
My condolences to Mr. Patterson's family and friends and Cerner associates. Such sad news and major loss. Neal was inspiring leader and role model in HIS industry. RIP Mr. Patterson
Cerner was my first job out of college. I will forever recommend young students to have an experience such as mine at Cerner. It was a training ground for the professional world. Cerner encouraged a work hard, play hard environment and taught me two key skills, 1) You win because of your team 2) There is no replacement for hard work. Many blessings and prayers to Neal's dear family and friends and for all of those grieving the loss of a HCIT icon.
Peace to all.
The first time I met Neal I was an Executive Director of I.T. We were in need of a Lab System. Our Lab Director and I went to KC and met Neal. You could feel his passion when you entered the room. As we were discussing Lab he brought out his HNA building blocks. I sort of shrugged it off and said looks great but we are only here to talk about LIS. Fast forward, that HNA architecture took off in the industry. Years later I went to work as an Cerner Associate, my first day coming into the 2800 office I walked with Neal. He asked me so when did you start. I stated today is my fist day. His reply, we need you! -- It was a great ride for 7 years. Neal will be missed, but not forgotten. Praying for peace and comfort on Jeannie and his family during the coming days.
Without doubt, Neal with his MBA training was thoroughly CEO-like, but on a day-to-day basis he always showed the passion of his original degree in industrial engineering and operations research. He was fascinated with processes—with defining health services processes, analyzing them, improving them. Making health better for all was a memorable aspect of all of my encounters with Neal between 1984 and 2017. Rather than reasoning only from population evidence and principles, Neal’s ideas were almost always powerfully informed by medical experiences he or his family members had had. His grasp of details of health services was catalyzed by these experiences. His sense of diagnostic and therapeutic processes and prevention modalities was amplified by them. His learning about physiology and pharmacology was propelled by them. In this way, health-related ‘events’ unfolded for him as full-blown narratives, usually with far broader policy implications and process-design generality than the specific family instance that galvanized his initial response. The creation of Cerner’s First Hand Foundation by Jeanne and Neal in the early nineties was like this, directed to specific issues in pediatric health. His initiatives in sepsis prevention and management were like this, subsequent to the tragic death of his sister-in-law from sepsis.
I remember during one of my first CHC’s I was in one of the private demos rooms conducting a demonstration for a client. In the midst of my demo, Neal walked in to say Hi to the client. I finished my thought, paused, and invited Neal to come meet the client participants. Of course the audience was totally enamored by Neal’s personality and interest in their fight to improve the health and care of their patients. Neal stayed for a few moments and then was whisked away to see another client. After he left, the client was so excited that they had gotten to meet Neal. I on the other hand had to take few moments to collect myself and my thoughts so I could continue my demonstration. Now when I reflect back on that moment, it brings a smile to my face. There I was, a rookie presenter at CHC and who walks into a private demo…. Neal. I think it helped me understand Neal’s passion even better and it definitely helped me in the years to come when faced with unusual situations during demonstrations. Thank you Neal for the opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of transforming the health and care of people around the world. You will be truly missed by All.
It's amazing to stop and think of the impact Neal has on my life, a regular Cerner associate. As someone who joined Cerner right out of college, his direct and indirect influence has been in play for all of my professional career… not to mention almost half of my entire life. No matter where I was at any given time in the corporation, my tasks and actions could always point back to his vision and how he wanted the mission carried out. Over the course of almost two decades and multiple role changes, I always knew I had the same leader at the end of each day. I can only extend more heartfelt condolences to those closer to him personally and professionally, as I know the impact on their lives is enormous.
My favorite memory of Neal was running into him at the “Wagon” in Sedalia. He regaled me on the virtues of a goober burger for a good thirty minutes. It was always fun catching and talking to Neal about non-work things. He was curious and inciteful.
My heart breaks for the Patterson and Cerner families. I will continue to keep us in prayer.
I remember when the associate center was going to be built and associates gathered on the site of the proposed facility. There was a small back hoe there to dig the first hole. Neal was so excited about operating this piece of machinery. He fired it up, lifted up the shovel and somehow it came down on someone’s foot. At the time it wasn’t funny, but looking back now, and seeing the excitement on Neal’s and everyone’s face, it definitely brings back fond memories and the enthusiasm that was displayed as we literally watched Cerner grow.
I’ve been at Cerner now for almost 12 years. In that time I have enjoyed seeing Neal’s vision realized over many times. He’s been a great leader and visionary and its definitely shown through the success that Cerner has had and continues to have in changing healthcare. It’s been awesome to see the changes he said he would make with Cerner having its own insurance and then seeing that happen. And along with that seeing the rollout of the Healthe Clinics and Pharmacy.
Neal was one host of the KC Entrepreneurial Exchange around 2005. At one of the forums, he asked a simple question. He asked if anyone in the room has had to "make a payroll." At the time, the question was interesting, but did not completely resonate. But I kept his question in my mind. Today, I now understand why he asked that question with pride. All leadership styles are different, but Neal goes into the KC hall of fame for creating a vision and changing the world, creating jobs, wealth and long-term KC assets that we all enjoy. His legacy will live forever and constantly influence growing companies.
I often used the phrase, “What would Neal say/do” when we had a tough challenge or when teams weren’t performing to the Cerner standard. Neal had a way of deriving the best from a situation, and that is what I learned most from him. Don’t settle, we can be better. Coupled with a love of his family and his city, he was a mentor and someone I looked up to. He was one of a kind. I am a better person for knowing Neal. And the world is a better place because of Neal. Thanks for opportunity to commemorate this amazing person.
My thoughts are with the family. My memories of Neal are that he was a great visionary and leader for Cerner and in the Kansas City community. He was always leading the way as Cerner grew from a small company to the leader in the Healthcare IT industry. I recall being in many Town Halls over the last 23 years and listening to Neal explain why we were all at Cerner. He always made Healthcare IT feel real and very important to all of our collective lives. I will never forget the accuracy and reality of his predictions. Cerner grew at an astounding rate due to his vision and leadership, and more importantly, it has helped countless people in this country and throughout the world receive better healthcare in a more efficient manner. Thanks Neal for all that you have done.
Although I hadn’t met Neal in person, I did have the opportunity to hear his keynote addresses at CHC, both as a client and then as an associate. I personally was touched by his constant reference to his family, and our own, when it came to healthcare and the opportunities to improve the way patient care is delivered. He motivated so many people to continue to strive for more and for better, when it came to how technology can aide practitioners and patients for a safer experience, while obtaining healthcare. The mission statement, “To contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities," will forever be engrained and associated with Neal Patterson! To his family, friends and fellow associates, I pray peace, comfort and strength in the many days ahead!
Neal never missed an opportunity to demonstrate how down to earth and caring he was. I was attending the HIMSS conference as a speaker for Cerner several years ago in Vegas with my wife Tammie. Carrol County Memorial Hospital is a small critical access hospital located 80 miles from Cerner headquarters. Not much on the spectrum of healthcare royalty. We are among hundreds of healthcare professionals at a Cerner sponsored function and towards the end of the night Tammie and I went to the balcony of the Bellagio Hotel to watch the fountain water show. It was spectacular, more so in person than on video. We were commenting about that when a hand went on my wife’s shoulder and then on mine. It was Neal Patterson and he said, “isn’t this great Jeff and Tammie”? He and I had met once earlier that day. I don’t recall if he had actually met Tammie. She still talks about it to this day. Nothing to do with his remarkable company, but everything to do about him as a person. Neal and I have talked a few times since then but I will always remember that moment watching the fountains from the balcony of the Bellagio.
My fondest memory of Neal is the first day coming to work in 2007. I was this eager beaver associate glad to have a job, let alone at this awesome WHQ campus. I walked with such pride and honor. As I got to the elevators there was Neal going up… I looked at him and he waved back. Neal’s personality touched me. As associates say, “you drank the Cerner Kool-Aid." #RIPNeal
I am a fairly new associate, just under 3 years. I met Neal once, at the First Hand golf tournament. He was kind, went around asking the volunteers if they were doing ok. He showed his concern and compassion for Cerner associates in this small kind gesture. This is a fond memory, but not my favorite. Last year’s message at CHC was by far my favorite. It was this rare window into a person’s soul. He laid it all out there raw and unfiltered. He showed compassion, humility, love, all in this one message that had a lot of us unashamedly in tears. It is a gift when a person offers to share a piece of themselves that I know will remain in many of our memories. Thank you Neal for giving Cerner this part of you.
I came to work at Cerner to help launch a new business for Neal and experienced the entrepreneurial spirit fostered by Neal, which was surprising for a public company the size of Cerner. His drive, focus and strategic vision was the foundation on which Cerner built its formidable market position, but I also gained insight into his dedication to clients, associates and family. I enjoyed the lively discussions with him about the healthcare industry, technology and leadership – he was a brilliant leader who shaped the future of our industry and who inspired me to strive for constant improvement. He was instrumental in my career growth and I learned so much from working for him. I never thought the day would come that he was no longer Cerner CEO, it was just unthinkable because he was the heart and soul of the business. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Patterson family, close friends and the Cerner nation. Rest in eternal peace Neal.
I never had the opportunity to talk to him one on one but the only memory that came to mind was when I walked passed him about three years ago and he looked straight into my eyes, smiled and said, “How are we doing?” and my response was “fine Neal." That was what came to my mind when I read about the shocking news. I thought he was recovering…… May his soul rest in perfect peace.
It was last September, We received a Wonderful and encouraging note from Neal on his treatment and the road of recovery. As a fellow associate working in Bangalore, it was kind of an energy builder and eye-opener to read that and hit work with full enthusiasm, since the email carried me away and the way I looked at life. The most fantastic and turning point was that I sent my reply to Neal’s email to which he sent a reply email, which I did not expect from a CEO of this large organization; he was a really down to earth person.
Until I worked for Cerner, I could not understand how passionate I was in contributing to healthcare and improving people’s life. When I first met Neal in 2004, my life changed seeing the passion in his work, words and commitment to his idea. Neal is a true idealist who believed in changing the world by bridging health with technology. No wonder he has been on the Forbes as one of the most innovative thinkers and Cerner is in the Top 10 most innovative companies in the America’s. My sincere respects and condolence’s to Neal’s family.
Neal was a mentor to me. I met Neal when I was a junior at Oklahoma State University in 1989. I was accountable to hosting alumni during fall break. I spent 2 days with Neal and a number of Neal’s pledge brothers. At the end of the weekend, Neal looked me in the eye, pointed his finger at me and said, “I am going to see you in Kansas City.” At the time, Cerner only had 400 associates. Neal sold me on Cerner and healthcare and we kept in-touch until 5 years later, he marshalled me into Cerner. I honestly believe that I would still be a small town Oklahoma boy if I had not met Neal. He will be truly missed.
Yesterday, the email shook me for few minutes. I couldn’t believe we had lost our dear and honorable Founder and CEO of our organization. There are very few people whom you don’t meet and even then, you feel they personally touch you and influence you with their words and thoughts. Neal was one of them for me and I am sure for most of us in Cerner. Some of the Neal’s words about building the organization has been implanted in my memory forever. My deep condolence to Neal’s family and friends on this loss. In our tradition, we believe that departed soul will never rest. Therefore, I wish all the best to Neal’s soul for its next successful journey.
May courage of lord be with his Family and let us strive towards his vision to do more for his belief in “Health care is too important to stay the same.
It's very sad to hear of Neal's passing and I wish the warmest comforts to his family and friends. This is one of my personal stories; a drop in the ocean of his life that he shared with so many. On a trip to Las Vegas for a sales conference, just one small purpose was to turn the page between Cerner and organizations using the CareAware systems integration and interoperability. The healthcare challenges we face are larger than one company; it's too big and too important to let the past get in the way of forward progress. It's a little embarrassing but after a decade of listening to Neal talking at town halls I was a little worried I would "fanboy" out on this trip. I walked away with an appreciation of Neal's style for the little things. It was an opportunity and experience I will never forget and gave me a tiny window into him personally. The culture and approaches that he practiced will be with me for life. The growth I achieved at Cerner will benefit my children's lives. At the end of his I know he probably felt like there was more work to do, but he did more than enough. Still sad but proud of everything that he's done for everyone. Please rest peacefully.
In 1995 when we broke ground for the associate center, I was one of the people organizing the ceremony. We had built a small “room” in the area and parked a Bobcat in it. The plan was for Neal to drive it with Cliff riding on the back. There were a few of us in the room going over the controls to the Bobcat with Neal when he reached up hitting the lever to drop the bucket. I was standing just a little too close and the bucket landed on my toes. He looked at me and then looked at the key and back at me worrying that it was going to lurch and break my leg. For weeks I had to wear a therapeutic boot and when Neal would see me, he would pretend that he was going to stomp on my foot. I, of course, made up a story about what happened but then Neal had me tell the story at several company meetings. He was always pushing us to be better – back then we had easy access to him so it was easier for him to personally push us. I really wish everyone had a chance to know him that way. I am sad beyond words.
Neal's purpose in this life was a significant one that has touched millions of lives. We will miss him as a person, friend and leader. I am grateful for his visionary contributions to evolve Cerner to what it is today.
I’ll never forget my first town hall at Cerner. It was 2004, and Neal rode into Hale Arena on a horse! I had only been at Cerner a month, and this was an incredible first impression of Neal. It was also Cerner’s 25th year, and Neal, Cliff and Paul shared their memories and discussed how PGI (Cerner) got started in 1979. He will be so missed.
My condolences to the Patterson family at this time of need. I’ve learned so much with Cerner associates (including Neal with who I had the chance to have a deep discussion with during the first steps of Cerner France). Sir, thank you for all!
Neal’s passing away is a truly sad moment for Cerner, all clients and everybody who knew him. Our thoughts are with him and his family.
It was a sad day for us for missing our great leader. RIP Neal.
I was honored and privileged to meet Neal at the CHC 2011 Bash. He was happy to meet the associates from Bangalore. He spoke to us and posed for pictures. Always cherished those moments and these pictures.
Thank you and rest in peace.
R.I.P Neal Patterson. You have been an inspiration for all of us. We will miss you always.
Hearing about Neal’s passing was a shock to me. I felt very sad and prayed for him and his family. It has been only a little over 2 months since I joined Cerner. I haven’t seen him or spoken to him directly. However, I have read his letters to the associates and seen Cerner culture to understand that I was working for a visionary CEO. I feel part of the evolution of Health IT. Thank you Neal for your vision and direction! A person goes only as far as your memories and thoughts of them. You are in all of our thoughts Neal.
The things we do outlast our mortality. Neal Patterson still lives in our vision and the values he instilled in Cerner. He holds a special place in my memories as a great leader whom I could meet, talk and follow. May he rest in peace.
I moved to London from Ireland in 2005 for my software engineer job at Cerner. One morning in 2006, I had the privilege of sharing the elevator with Neal. A well dressed and spoken man who had many questions with regards to my purpose as a software engineer at Cerner and my opinion on how I saw Cerner moving forward. We arrived on the 6th floor of The Pointe, we shook hands and he wished me a successful career. I met Neal twice and heard him speak at two London town-halls. He was a very focused and eccentric leader who made a huge impact in the world of HIT. RIP Mr. Patterson.
I didn't know Neal personally but when I read his draft, "The New Middle For Healthcare," I was truly inspired by his vision and plan. His final sentence in the draft now speaks volumes. "Someday, when our grandkids ask … grandpa or grandma … we can say that we thought about their future." My sincere condolences to his family and friends.
To the Patterson family, heartfelt condolences. To the world, Neal was the inspiration, leader and mentor to thousands of Cerner associates, thousands of Cerner clients and his drive to create a connected healthcare platform has and will impact millions of lives.
A year into my career at Cerner and a year out of college, I was asked to go on a trip hopping between some small airports in the southeastern United States with Neal and two others. I was too green to be nervous, rather I was just excited to meet and talk with Neal. I will always remember and cherish Neal's passion and drive, and his ability to invoke that passion in others. And at one point while walking through Naples, Neal debated with us jumping a fence to run the bases at a ballpark because it seemed like it would be fun. Here is to a visionary, to a pioneer, to a leader, and to someone who inspired many, including me. You will be missed.
Although I’ve been gone from Cerner for a year, I will be forever indebted to Cerner for allowing me to join a tremendous company led by great leaders and in particular Neal Patterson who had the capacity to envision health care "outside of the box” and the passion and drive to make change happen. The people at Cerner are not only brilliant but also caring, compassionate and genuine and that is why today, a year and a half later, that I mourn the death of Neal as I will always consider myself an associate of his. My sincere condolences to Neal’s family, friends and all associates.
Neal was someone who inspired me to step beyond what I thought I could be. I never would have realized my potential without his challenging and no limits expectations placed on me over the years. He has created a culture of move fast and ever forward that will endure the test of time. The world will ever be a greater place due to his influence. I am humbled by knowing him and will be forever greatful.
I remember a few years ago when my girls attended the CernerKids Montessori, I would take them to have lunch at the café. My youngest daughter was with me this one time. Neal was there with his daughter too, who at the time was working for Cerner. My brave little one walked right up to Neal and said to him “I potty trained." I will not forget his kindness toward her as he replied, “Oh you are? That’s wonderful."
Neal Patterson has impacted so many lives. Thank you for your dedication. I am so sorry to hear about this news. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.I will also not forget the vision that he gave to Cerner which has kept each of my 17 years of employment exciting and adventurous. Thank you, Neal."
I believe we are all in a bit of shock and can’t quite believe that Neal has left us. We will continue to pursue his vision and passion. Please take the time to spend with your family and friends. Every minute is precious.
Extremely sad news. He was a visionary and made us all better in what we do today and will continue to do. Will always be inspired by his vision.
My condolences to Neal’s family and friends. Such a heartbreaking outcome. Neal was an incredible leader and genius visionary. You will be missed Mr. Patterson.
My sincere condolences to Jeanne and Neal's entire family.
I met Neal as a young software engineer in 1991, joining a small, burgeoning company on the cusp of doing great things at the intersection of health care and technology. It was not apparent at the time, but many of my most important lessons in leadership stemmed from tough, but principled, interactions with him during those formative years. Even now, I find myself frequently invoking and reinforcing those same leadership principles when speaking to others in my own organization. Neal was an incredibly open and accessible CEO, especially during the early years of Cerner. He asked for nothing less than unparalleled commitment from his associates, but he also knew how to enjoy life and encouraged others to do the same. His true legacy will be the inspiration and empowerment he brought to a new generation of innovators that will continue his vision of fundamentally transforming health care and improving the quality of life for everyone.
My condolences to the Patterson family and the very large extended Cerner family who feel a huge loss today. Thank you Neal for the opportunities, for challenging me as a physician and informatics, and for seeking a vision of what is possible in healthcare, and more importantly, what healthcare should be. Rest in peace.
When I joined Cerner in 1988 the LIS was the tip of the iceberg of Neal’s vision. The company leased part of one floor in the 2800 building and corporate visits took place in a small conference room. I think he often was frustrated that others couldn’t follow his prescient view of healthcare, but he taught us all to think big. His leadership was at once intimidating and reassuring and I was privileged to see his vision unfold in my 19 years with the company. Sadly, the visionary is gone, but he did indeed fulfill his desire to leave a visionary company as his legacy.
Neal Patterson was a true innovator and an inspiration to many in the world of Healthcare Technology. I sadden to hear the news of his passing today. My condolences to his family at this time of need.
It has been a long time since this CCC group connected. On this sad day for our Cerner Partner, with the passing of Neal Patterson, please take a few minutes out of your day to, in your own way, thank Neal for his passion and dedication. He impacted all of us and through our work all of those we work with and care for. Without him and cerner, we would not have had the opportunity to make such impactful improvements on the lives and care of many many millions of people across the globe. Additionally, it reminds us to appreciate those for whom you have learned so much. So I say THANK YOU. To this group. Neal's vision and passion lives on in all of us in a very profound way. Carry that forward!!!! Lastly, and most importantly, my prayers and the prayers of my family and those of Penn State nation go out to Neal, his family and the entire cerner community. God Bless.