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

Dear Warner, I am so sorry to hear that you are ill and in the hospital. I have so many memories of 'growing up' during our CCC days. My first time meeting you, of course, was the day you came and lectured to my Computer Science class at Brandeis in 1976, telling us all about Converse and demonstrating the UTI interview. Little did I know then that a couple of years later Harris Yett would put me in touch with Howard, and despite the fact that I failed the MIIS test you guys would hire me anyway! You taught me so much about how to work with clinicians and administrators, all of which served me well during my 35 years at BIDMC. You are one of the kindest men I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Though we didn't always see eye to eye, we were able to agree to disagree with mutual respect, which meant a lot to me. I am sending healing thoughts and big virtual hugs your way (not as big as the wonderful bear hugs you always give, of course, my arms just aren't big enough!). Love, Caryn

Dear Warner: Like others, I honor your brilliant contributions in the domain of work. But it is your genuine goodness that I admire much more. I first felt that in 1982, when i was moving to Boston with the thought (unfortunately, never fully realized) that I might work with you and Howard. We hadn't yet rented an apartment, and were trying to figure out where to ship our books. Without hesitation you said 'send them to me', and didn't bat an eyelash when 71 boxes arrived and cluttered your office for weeks. You have remained a most wonderful friend to me ever since, and a truly admirable person . Love, David

Dear Warner, I'm so sorry to hear that you're in the hospital. I would guess that many wouldn't know that the scope of your influence includes the sickest and smallest of BIH/BIDMC patients: NICU babies. Your promotion and tools to provide family education and support have had a foundational effect on our program. I hope that you are feeling well soon.

Dear Warner As a young doctor who had embarked on an informatics doctorate in the 1980's, your work was for me a rare beacon in what often felt like an otherwise solitary and futile mission. It is only because we could stand on your shoulders, that many of us got started and together helped to create the digital world we find ourselves in today. Thank you for being there at the beginning, and being so clear in your thinking and steadfast in your committment.

Dear Warner, I'm so sorry you're ill! I remember so many conversations fondly---from the Hawthorne effect, to artificial intelligence (and real stupidity), to the sizes of things and John Tyler Bonner---and look forward to more. Get well soon!

Dear Warner, I echo what everyone has said about the importance of the work of the DCI (and its predecessors), led by you and Howard. What you built in the 1970s and 1980s was far ahead of any other hospital information system—and, to my mind, is far ahead of many of the most commercially successful systems of the current day. What is most important is not the technological tour de force. What is most important is how much the system improved the lives of both patients and doctors. What you’ve done is amazing enough. More amazing is the person you are: intense, passionate and tireless in advocating what is best for others, and always putting that before any personal agenda. So many times I’ve wanted to bottle some of that, and drink it! Get well, my friend.

21 years ago, I was a young military doc running the hills in Israel, fascinated with how 'computers', as they were known at the time, could change healthcare. I took a 3-day leave from my unit, flew over to Boston (by invitation of Charlie S) and walked into Warner's office (sweaty palms and all) wondering if I was the only crazy one. Warner looks at me, laughs, gave me a bear hug and opened the door to what later became my entire professional life in healthcare technology and entrepreneurship. Warner, you changed people's lives, and healthcare in the midst, and we are all forever grateful. So sorry to hear you are ill and wish you the quickest recovery. Roy.

My wife Sue and I have been your patients often over the years! Result: the best treatment in the world of medicine. I trust Clinical Infomatics will live forever.

Hi Dr. Slack, I only saw you speak once, at a HIMSS meeting and was fascinated by your background. Wishing you well, Suzanne

Dear Warner, Thank you for being the genius who first uncovered the power of how patients relate to computers. The ripples of your pioneering work are still part of the leading edge of patient-centered innovation. You are a scholar of Human Nature and a scholar of Clinical Informatics. What a gift for us all. My best, Nancy

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