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About Us

Our Founders

Our Cerner Charitable Foundation (formerly First Hand) founders began with one vision in mind, to support the industry that Cerner knows so well while closing the gaps of healthcare with a focus on children. Today, the foundation continues to live out this vision of building healthier tomorrows and stronger communities around the world.

Jeanne Lillig-Patterson

Founder (1958-2017)

Jeanne created the vision, pouring her heart into the foundation and advocating for those - especially children - with medical and health needs.

"It's all about knowing what's the right thing to do. There needs to be a soul to a corporation. Inside Cerner there's a soul. You can feel it: the chemistry, the altruism."

Neal Patterson

Founder (1949-2017)

Neal provided incredible foresight, predicting how healthcare would evolve and how First Hand (now Cerner Charitable Foundation) could make a difference, specifically with Cerner's technology leading the way.

"We wanted to make sure we gave back to our community. We decided to do it ourselves and created our own foundation called First Hand."

Cliff Illig


Cliff brought his experience of building high-performing organizations and his commitment to the community, developing a new philanthropic model through the foundation.

"The objective has always been to do something meaningful; do something that makes a difference...for individual young people. Every one of them is special - every one of them has a great story."