KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cerner Corporation confirmed Sunday morning that Neal Patterson, its chairman and CEO, passed away due to unexpected complications after a recent recurrence of cancer.
"This is a profound loss. Neal and I have been partners and collaborators for nearly 40 years, and friends for longer than that," said Cliff Illig, Cerner Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, who has been named interim CEO. "Neal loved waking up every morning at the intersection of health care and IT. His entrepreneurial passion for using IT as a lever to eliminate error, variance, delay, waste and friction changed our industry."
Patterson's previous cancer battle had been disclosed.
Patterson, an Oklahoma native, also owned Sporting Kansas City, and was a staunch supporter of the American Royal.
A Sporting KC spokesperson said, "we put him up there with Ewing Kaufman and Lamar Hunt for what he’s done for Kansas City’s sports landscape," and "Neal was an entrepreneur on the sports and business side," adding, "he loved, loved, loved Kansas City."
It wasn't just Sporting KC that Patterson contributed to; he is credited with helping to create a vibrant soccer culture at large in Kansas City.
Cerner, as well as other local organizations, expressed their admiration and sadness at Patterson's passing.
“On behalf of Truman Medical Centers, I offer my most sincere condolences to the family of Cerner CEO, Neal Patterson. His passion for connecting healthcare with technology has greatly impacted the way Truman Medical Centers (TMC) is able to skillfully care for patients.
The relationship between Cerner and TMC began in 1991 and in October 2015 the partnership resulted in an innovative collaboration called KC One, which is dedicated to the transformation of health care in Kansas City. Neal’s leadership was instrumental in making KC One a reality."