CHIME Mourns Passing of Cerner CEO, Neal Patterson

ANN ARBOR, MI, July 9, 2017 – Neal Patterson, co-founder and CEO of Cerner Corp., died Sunday of complications from a recent recurrence of a previously diagnosed cancer, Cerner announced in a statement. The CHIME community joins in mourning the loss of a pioneer in the industry and a major contributor to the healthcare IT community.

“Neal was an inspirational visionary who has left an indelible mark on industry through his tireless pursuit of better information at the point of care for patients in every setting,” said Liz Johnson, CHIME Board chair and CIO of Acute Care Hospitals and Applied Clinical Informatics at Tenet Healthcare in Dallas. “The work of Neal and Cerner will continue to positively impact healthcare for many generations to come. I had the privilege of knowing Neal for near 20 years. I will miss Neal; he made me laugh and think just a little harder about what could be better in this world.”

Cerner, which is a member of the CHIME Foundation, said that Cliff Illig, Cerner vice chairman of the board, has been named Cerner’s chairman and interim CEO.

“Neal was a positive role model to me and represented all that is good about Cerner,” said Marc Probst, chair of the CHIME Foundation Board and CIO at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah. “It was his passion to do what is right for healthcare that allowed Cerner to succeed to the levels it has. I will personally miss his energy, his imagination, his ability to move great ideas forward, his honorable character and the honesty I always felt from him. Neal will be missed by many in the industry.”

Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig co-founded the company in 1979. It has since grown into the world’s largest independent health information technology company with $4.8 billion in revenues in 2016 and more than 24,000 associates worldwide, according to Cerner.

“On behalf of the entire CHIME family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of Neal Patterson,” said Russ Branzell, CEO of CHIME. “Neal was a legend in our industry and even more than that, a friend to all. Healthcare is a better and safer industry because of his lifelong commitment to improving care. The Patterson and Cerner family are in our thoughts and prayers.”

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers (CIOs) and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 2,300 CIO members and over 150 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit

Candace Stuart
Director of Communications and Public Relations, CHIME
[email protected]