Malvern’s Cerner Says Goodbye to Longtime CEO

After leading Cerner Corp. to prominence through the digital conversion of medical records since 1979, CEO Neal Patterson lost a battle with cancer. Image via Cerner.

The man who led a revolution in the digital conversion of medical charts and records saw his own chart flash across computer screens often over the past year and a half.

And last month, Cerner Corp. CEO Neal Patterson lost his battle with cancer, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal by James Hagerty.

What filled an emerging niche when he launched Cerner as a Kansas City startup in 1979 now encompasses 24,000 employees, including those located in Malvern, and is worth $22 billion.

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“He had the ability to look out there and see what the world was going to need in healthcare,” said fellow Cerner Co-Founder and Interim CEO Clifford Illig. “He was quite resolute. Some might call it maniacal.”

Patterson capitalized on his Eagle Scout resourcefulness, master’s degree in business administration, and skill in automation software with action-oriented leadership.

“His words couldn’t keep up with his thoughts,” said former U.S. Sen. and Rev. John Danforth at his funeral. “He spoke in half sentences. There was a staccato quality.”

Read more about the story of Patterson and Cerner in The Wall Street Journal here, and check out previous VISTA Today coverage of the company here.

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