Remembrances

From his time at the University of Wisconsin creating student health interviews, to his work at Beth Israel and Harvard Medical School innovating the way patients interact with their doctors, Warner has touched the lives of thousands of people. Below you can read the hundreds of comments that people have already left for Warner or view the archived news stories about Warner with the button above. And if you haven't already, we invite you to leave your memories of Warner.

Comments

It was my pleasure to meet Warner and Carolyn when I was engaged and then married to one of Warner’s college roommates, Jim Lynn. I know how important that friendship has been to Jim. And I thank you for your many kindnesses toward our daughters, Nina and Nora. We will all miss Warner. We all send our love to Carolyn, Charlie and the rest of the clan. You are among the world’s best people.

Warner Slack was a very close and good friend. He was one of fewer than 15 full time faculty in medicine assembled by Howard Hiatt at the former Beth Israel Hospital in the late 1960s, and he interviewed me when I was applying to lead the new primary care efforts. Always a twinkle in his eye, ready to argue any point, focused, but also a fine listener and (to a degree) willing to compromise! He and his long-term colleague, Howard Bleich, bridled at what they perceived as injustice, and that included the way medicine chose its trainees; their studies were early in pointing out that we'd probably do just as well with a lottery. Warner was a great supporter of OpenNotes and our new adventure with patients and clinicians co-generating medical notes. This is a big loss to the field and to many, many friends...

He called Octo, my boss and asked to use some of my code in Paperchase. Realize that at that one literature search engines were not free. He gave me 400 hrs of Paperchase time for my contributions which I cherished. He was always a gentleman and he was always gracious. I remember him showing me around the center at the BI and he was both proud and humble at the same time. This past AMIA he came to one of my fellows talks and gave her a standing ovation, Jane Zhao. I took time to let her know what an honor that was coming from Warner. He will be missed. Peter

I'm so sad to learn of Warner's passing. He was so kind and helpful to me as he guided me in my research. Warner cared deeply for people and his professional career centered around using informatics to improve people's lives. I will try to follow his lead in my own career, and I will continue to share his legacy with future generations. Condolences to his friends and family.

Dr. Slack was one of the first individuals I met in the healthcare IT world when I transitioned into the space in 2006. He gave me a copy of Cybermedicine at that meeting, and I still carry the guiding principles from that book into the work we're doing at Kyruus today. His legacy as a true pioneering thought leader will no doubt continue to live on and shape the way we use AI in medicine across the industry.

Words can never adequately express how incredibly fortunate we were to have Warner in our lives. How thankful that his wonderful family shared him with all of us. His compassion, kindness, and sense of humanity are what we think of most and very often. Many will write about all his legendary professional accomplishments and true brilliance as a pioneer in patient care and clinical computing, as they should. Maya Angelou must have had Warner in mind when she said, 'But people will never forget how you made them feel.' He was a mentor, friend, and father figure to so many, yet we were all made to feel uniquely special. We miss you so much and are comforted knowing you out there in cyberspace looking out for us all.

A mighty tree has fallen in the forest. On behalf of the Leeming family, and remembering my father Brian Leeming who worked with Warner for two decades since coming from New Zealand, I extend my sincerest condolences to the Slack family. I was privileged to connect with him a couple of times these last few years, and the extraordinary man my father knew and respected, blessed so with his friendship, was reinforced. He will be welcoming that special friend with joy. Peace!

Yesterday on my way to a rainy early afternoon movie “Won’t you be my neighbor?' I got a call I had been expecting but didn’t want. The caller ID said Warner Slack, and while it was possible he would be calling, I heard the voice of Charlie Slack. After writing a few emails, Donna and I went to the movie about Fred Rogers. I cried out loud throughout the movie, and it was not lost on me that Warner loved movies and he would have loved this film. Movies were a frequent topic of discussion for Warner. I thought Warner must have been the best neighbor any of us could have hoped for. A person who would and did help anyone. He made each one of us feel special. A friend wrote to me that the world is a little less wonderful without Warner and while I initially agreed, a day later I’m feeling that we are all blessed to be better neighbors because of Warner’s life.

Vale Warner. I had the pleasure of spending time with you on two occasions only. But both those times I was touched by your generosity, your humbleness, your kindness and your intellect. Thank you for a life well lived and for inspiring us to never stop learning from others.

Warner you made me understand the word colleague, and the words 'patient care'. Those three words have followed me through the years,( wish others remembered), May I offer you my Thanks for your sage advice? OH and I forgot to thank you for the night you spent up with me getting the 'D..m Phone book 'Go Live'', when we were in the Galleria. Get well soon. I want to go sailing with you. Howard, the other one, no not the drummer.

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