KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The health care technology firm Cerner Corp. says its co-founder and CEO, Neal Patterson, has died.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2tGbXQ0 ) reports that Cerner said in a statement that Patterson died Sunday at 67. The statement said that Patterson died of unexpected complications from a soft-tissue cancer for which he had been treated previously.

The company’s vice chairman and co-founder, Cliff Illig, has been named chairman and interim CEO. Patterson and Illig had worked closely together during the 38 years since they co-founded the North Kansas City-based company.

Illig described Patterson’s death as a “profound loss” in a statement. Patterson said frequently in his last public appearances: “What we do is hard. It isn’t easy.”

The company has about 12,800 workers in the Kansas City area and about 24,000 worldwide.

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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