Cerner chairman and CEO dies; interim CEO named - KCTV5

Cerner chairman and CEO dies; interim CEO named

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Neal Patterson. (Credit: Cerner Corporation) Neal Patterson. (Credit: Cerner Corporation)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Cerner Corporation has announced that Neal Patterson, the company's chairman and CEO, passed away on Sunday due to complications that arose after "a recent recurrence of a previously disclosed cancer."

Cerner's co-founder and vice chairman of the board, Cliff Illig, has been named chairman and interim CEO. 

Illig has worked as Patterson's partner and close advisor in the past.

According to a release from the company, he spent decades as Cerner's president and chief operating officer.

"This is a profound loss," Illig said. "Neal and I have been partners and collaborators for nearly 40 years, and friends for longer than that. Neal loved waking up every morning at the intersection of healthcare and IT. His entrepreneurial passion for using IT as a lever to eliminate error, variance, delay, waste and friction changed our industry."

Patterson was co-owner of Sporting KC and a director for the American Royal livestock, horse show and rodeo.

"Patterson grew up on his family’s farm near Manchester, Oklahoma, was active in scouting, and worked his way through school," according Sporting KC's website. "He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and his master’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University in 1971 and 1972."

Patterson was a "co-founder and serves on the executive board of the First Hand Foundation, Cerner’s non-profit foundation that provides financial assistance to children with critical healthcare needs," Sporting KC's website continues. "He is a founding member of the Entrepreneurs’ Exchange, a 20-year-old forum of seasoned entrepreneurs who support and encourage the next generation of Kansas City entrepreneurs through private meetings and public events."

"The process to select a new CEO is nearing a conclusion," Cerner's release stated.

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