KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, wife of Cerner CEO Neal Patterson, died Monday at age 59, just less than two months after her husband’s death.
Her death came after a long battle with cancer.
According to a news release from First Hand Foundation, an organization she co-founded in 1995, Lillig-Patterson was the seventh associate at Cerner in the company’s early days. Her husband described her as the “Soul of Cerner.”
We are deeply saddened by the passing of @_FirstHand Co-Founder Jeanne Lillig-Patterson. https://t.co/x0gH28uTe0 pic.twitter.com/8Hcz4CdvZ5
— Cerner (@Cerner) September 4, 2017
Lillig-Patterson focused on creating ways for Cerner “to help patients in ways that software couldn’t,” the release said.
She worked to fill gaps in health care for children around the world, including in Kansas City, by creating the First Hand Foundation’s health screenings program, which serves 21 percent of area elementary schools.
Her additional work with the foundation included finding ways to help foster children through the Love Bag program, increasing health education in the community and schools, and a case grants program that the organization said remains at its heart.
The First Hand Foundation has created a memorial fund in Lillig-Patterson's honor for those who would like to donate.
Cerner issued the following statement from Interim CEO, Co-Founder and Chairman Cliff Illig:
"Bonne and I and the entire Cerner team are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Jeanne Lillig-Patterson, who passed away Monday morning. Jeanne's generosity with her time, energy and service to others is a testament to the heart she brought to all she was involved in. Her compassion was most evident with First Hand Foundation, which she was instrumental in founding more than 20 years ago to provide children with health care when it was otherwise out of reach. Neal often called her the "Soul of Cerner" because of the breadth of her impact on the company. She was one of our earliest associates, and her significant contributions continue to be felt across Cerner."