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

Hi, Warner.... We both have birthdays coming up in the next week or so, and in our ninth decade we can't expect them to be the best ever for either of us. I can't tell you how sorry I am that you've had to endure so many trials in the past few months. What I can tell you, though, is that the best break of my eighty-some years was drawing you as my roommate when we went off to college. We made a lot of good friends there, together and separately, and we've managed to keep some of them to this day, But I've never had another whose company I enjoyed so much, whose integrity I respected as much, or whose brain I'd rather have access to on a desert island. I could go on at length, but I think your colleague Charlie Safran has nailed it for me and probably a lot of other contributors to this document: With Warner it's just better.

Warner Throughout the years I've known you, you have been such an inspiration to me. My latest grant using patient preferences in healthcare just got funded by the NLM. It focuses on data science as a tool for making care more patient-centered. In particular, the work helps physicians 'profile' patients based on patterns in their preferences and then seeks to predict what treatment makes persons of a given pattern happiest or most satisfied. The technology is adapted from Amazon and is something called a 'recommender system.' It is all built on the idea of allowing patients to tell each other what works. I am thinking of you. Warmest regards, Les

Warner, You have had such a profound and positive impact on my life. Thank you for offering me my first real job, and thank you for being my second father during my post-college years. I will never forget my first post-college Thanksgiving (way back in 1983!) when you and Carolyn (along with Charlie) were kind enough to include me in your family get-together. No one who has ever known you could ever forget your wise counsel, your infectious grin, and the amazing twinkle in your eye when you have a story to tell - and you've got a lot of great ones! All my best, Mike

Linda and I are forever thankful to count you and Carolyn as friends. We will “hold you in the light” in the spirit of the Quaker greeting. Thank you for being my teacher. You are an exemplar of Plutarch’s adage that “Teaching is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Warner, we met in 2014 as part of the BIRT fellowship. You've been a visionary with always the patient in mind. You are always kind and warm, a truly bright star of positivity. Thank you and wishing you the best on your road to recovery. ....Mark

Dear Warner, You have been a rock for my Dad and my family. You and Carolyn have always been so warm, welcoming, and loving. Thank you. I will see you soon.

Dear Dr Slack, I’m sorry to hear about your illness. I would like to let you know about the impact you made on my career. We met in the summer of 2012 when I carried out a research project at BIDMC. I was in Boston for just two weeks when you came to me and asked about healthcare in the Netherlands. And somehow we managed to talk for more than an hour about patient empowerment, about the start of DCI, and about the impact of computers in hospitals in doctors. You’ve inspired me to look beyond the daily difficulties of healthcare management: anything is possible and I can make anything happen. That’s what I learned from our talks. Thank you. I wish you and your family all the best. Stephanie The Dutch DCI staff member

Warner, When we first met at the BI almost 50 years ago, our friendship was sealed (and has steadily grown from there). You have been a dear friend and colleague from Day 1. One vignette defines who you are as a person. In the early 70's you were selected by Howard Hiatt to Chair the Intern Selection Committee, and you asked me to join the committee. In your role I quickly understood your commitment to equality and equal opportunity -- you wore your compassion on your sleeve. You rightfully noted that one of our missions is to provide training for all individuals who would benefit from a BI training and exposure to our inclusive hospital environment. You led the charge to recruit minority and disadvantaged applicants, setting a moral compass for all to follow. Your success in achieving this goal was noted by all -- as our minority house staff grew and flourished here. ALL BECAUSE OF YOUR LEADERSHIP. You lifted all of us to a higher level, always employing the Marine mantra of 'follow me'. And follow you we did. As is typical of you, you were a man ahead of his time. You led the charge that the BI would be a warm community for all. I tip my head and my heart to a cherished friend. Thank you be being a leading light for me.

Dear Warner In my more than 50 years at the BI I have met many great original thinkers, many great physicians and many great scientists -- as well as a few, like you, that were outstanding in all three. I have benefited from your friendship and still remember some of our non medical discussions (e.g. the poor performance of the SAT as opposed to high school grades as a predictor of success in college.) You are simply the BEST. With my deepest hope for a speedy recovery. Julie

Warner -- I had my preceptees over for dinner Wednesday night, and one of them asked how the Division of Clinical Computing got started, so I got to tell your story of the handwritten sign in the hallway (though not nearly as well as you tell it) and the lessons that it teaches about how to accomplish things! I'll get back in to see you soon... David

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