© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cerner CEO Reveals He Has Cancer

Courtesy photo
Cerner Corp.

Neal Patterson, the CEO and co-founder of health technology giant Cerner Corp., says he has cancer.

He made the announcement Monday in a letter to shareholders and employees, which the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission

"I wanted to let you know," Patterson wrote, "just after the new year, I was diagnosed with a soft tissue cancer. My physician says the type of cancer I have is treatable and curable, and there is no evidence of cancer elsewhere in my body. I plan to begin treatment immediately." 

Patterson helped found  North Kansas City-based Cerner in 1979 and has led the company as it has grown into a medical technology and IT behemoth that employs nearly 16,000 people worldwide and brought in $3.4 billion in revenue in 2014. Last year, Forbes named Cerner one of the world's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies.

In his letter, Patterson said the news will not force big changes in how the company operates. 

"We have the best leadership team in health care IT, and we are well equipped to continue to manage Cerner with our existing leadership structures while I receive treatment," he wrote. 

Yet, he alluded to how his position as the leader of a global health care company may affect his treatment and his business. 

"After years of studying health care systems around the world, this unique opportunity already had my gears turning," he wrote.

Kyle Palmer is KCUR's morning newscaster. You can follow him @kcurkyle

Kyle Palmer is the editor of the Shawnee Mission Post, a digital news outlet serving Northeast Johnson County, Kansas. He previously served as KCUR's news director and morning newscaster.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.