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.

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Remembrances

Hi Warner! Happy birthday to a wonderful man and a great husband to Carolyn as I learned in the Rabbi’s class. You brought tears to my eyes when you spoke of your love for your wife. It is so good to know such a special person!
Submitted by Paula OConnor on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner, We just learned it's your birthday and so here we are to add to your best wishes on your very special day! We'd like to bring you a beautiful cake and a birthday bouquet of spring flowers,but words will have to do. We also re sending our love and support to a very special couple and our dear friends. Jane and Jim
Submitted by Jim and Jane Pratt on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
I know you a very small percentage of my life. As soon as I met you I saw a human being iwho is smart, open, sincere , curious, and here. I admired your relationship with Caroline. I wish you health, peace and love and regret that I have known you both for such a short time in my life... Much love and peace...Ellen
Submitted by Ellen on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Hi Warner, The hospital is not the greatest place to celebrate your birthday. The best present would be adiagosis and cure. Hope you are on the mend and can have a real celebration back here at the Village!
Submitted by Miriam Blau on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner - Our thoughts are with you on this birthday and every day. We miss you very much here at the Village and send our love and lots of hugs to you and Carolyn. Sara & Bob
Submitted by Sara & Bob on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner, We wish you a Happy Birthday. We are not among your old dear friends and colleagues, but we count ourselves so fortunate to know you and Carolyn since we came to Lasell. To celebrate your birthday we are sending you a favorite poem. The Monks of Clonmacnoise Seamus Heaney The annals say: when the monks of Clonmacnoise Were all at prayers inside the oratory A ship appeared above them in the air. The anchor dragged along behind so deep It hooked itself into the altar rails And then, as the big hull rocked to a standstill, A crewman shinned and grappled down the rope And struggled to release it. But in vain. 'This man can't bear our life here and will drown,' The abbot said, 'unless we help him.' So They did, the free ship sailed, and the man climbed back Out of the marvelous as he had known it.
Submitted by Emily and Ed Dean on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner (and Carolyn): I so enjoyed reading through the comments your friends and colleagues have made. I'm not surprised at their portrayal of you as the ideal patient-centered doctor, a born healer whose humanity comes through to all his patients. You have appeared that way to me. I so appreciate the interest you have been taking in my criminal justice work and I hope to have more chances to share that with you and Carolyn.
Submitted by Ros Winsor on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Happy 85th Birthday
Submitted by Charlie on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
I moved to Lasell Village 1 year ago knowing no-one but immediately I was warmly welcomed into the community. Warner, you were one of the ones who welcomed me. Your smiles and greetings, your conversation at the dinner table and in the halls meant an enormous amount to me. I know that you and Carolyn are struggling now I hope that your doctors and nurses and all those who are taking care of you are making things as easy for you both as possible. All the best, Elinor
Submitted by Elinor Dulit on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner, It has been such an unexpected gift to Leo and me to have you as our neighbor for the last four years. When we've had a problem you've been a steadfast counselor. And we've shared many good times with you and Caroline at lunches and dinners. Wethink of you with much love.
Submitted by Eva Sartori on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Hi, Warner, Emily has sent you a lovely poem, and it's from both of us. But I want to say directly that you are a marvelously warm and friendly person and that you went out of your way to welcome us when we arrived as newbies last fall. I feel lucky to have met you and to at least begin to know you. Thanks for all this. Ed
Submitted by Edwin Dean on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner and Caroline -- we can't be with you today in person but in spirit we are indeed with you all the way. Heck of a way to celebrate your birthday anniversary but the love from your family and friends offers some compensation. WARM GOOD WISHES, AND MORE!!
Submitted by Mitch and Adrienne on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
You have directly impacted the lives of many hundreds,or is it thousands, and indirectly improved the health care of millions of patients around the world. Having had an all too short time with you andCarolyn at Lasell Village, we wish we had convinced you to come to U F’s medical school in the 60’s. We would have had great fun together.
Submitted by Parker and Nata... on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
You are in my thoughts and prayers. I miss seeing you together in the hallways.. You brought strength and comfort to our community.
Submitted by sis kazis on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Cher Warner, you and Caroline are the first Villagers we met when we were visiting Lasell ...you two are one of the reasons we came. You have welcomed not only us, but our family, going to Danielle’s concerts among other things. Through your genuine warmth and caring, you have been our model for how to live in a community, a transformative experience. We want to tell you, on your birthday, that we love you. Bernard and Nelly
Submitted by Nelly and Bernard on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Hello Warner - just a brief note to send you a cheerful hello on the occasion of your birthday.
Submitted by Nancy Snow on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Thinking of you and Carolyn with love and good wishes. Hope you had a lov-er-ly birthday. ........Naomi
Submitted by Naomi Wolf on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Sorry I missed sending greetings on your birthday yesterday - but I think of you every day and say a prayer that you (and Carolyn) will know that you are never alone. With gratitude and thanks for all you have done to help me (and probably every one else at Lasell Village)! You are the best! LIs
Submitted by Elisabeth Drake on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Hi Warner, It is such a pleasure to know you. You are a good role model for showing respect to all the residents of Lasell Village. Love Jean and Peter
Submitted by Jean and Peter ... on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Hey Warner! I know a few hundred people who would like to celebrate your birthday with you and Carolyn! I am surely one of that pack. Thinking of you and missing the pleasure of your and Carolyn's incomparable company. Off to Knit Wits! Fondly,
Submitted by Doris Gelman on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner: If I were back at my old haunts in schools of management, teaching 'newbies,' writing text about the art, and cajoling faculty to do a better job, all the raw material I need could come from examples and tributes in this blog -- boldness about needs and possibilities for change, creativity and energy to move things along, but always tempered as you led by how you have shared involvement and credit in the work and how you keep everyone focused on the 'others' -- patients, co-workers, customers to whom benefits should be aimed. … Ceci keeps looking in the hallways for your return.
Submitted by Bill Dill on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner, you are our very dear and valued next-door neighbor, and we miss you mightily. We have been warmed by your bright smile and welcoming greeting almost every day since we moved to Lasell Village. You are also our favorite Renaissance man. Physician, techie, film buff and repository of vast general knowledge, there's no one like you. Big hugs, David and Erica
Submitted by Dave Gallant an... on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear,dear Warner, I think of you daily and rejoice with any sign of improvement which we pass on to each other . I'm happy that you now are able to stay in your own room with your family. How great it would be to have you back soon. Carolyn is swamped with endearment from all of us. With love, Elena
Submitted by Elena Levinsky on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner I will always think of you as the anti traditional traditionalist.You epitomize the traditional values of family, justice, loyalty...and yet you easily saw through the hypocracy in academia and educational testing. Our friendship over the last 50 years has been one of the truly bright spots in my life. I know we will see each other again.
Submitted by David Miller on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Although I have only known you a short time, I think about you and Caroline every day when I go into 80 C. Positive wishes are with me all of these times . You have always been so welcoming, supportive and friendly. Reading many of the good wishes on this blog, I only wish that I had known you sooner. Fondly, Louise Freedman
Submitted by Louise Freedman on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
We know there is such a thing called a belated Birthday card/message. We'd like to include this with love everyday to you and Carolyn.
Submitted by Caroline and Paul on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
All our love, of course, to the incomparable Warner.
Submitted by Lester and Bets... on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner, you are such a gentle, dignified, warm human being who has made me feel welcome every time we've passed.We all love you and send the warmest, good wishes. Judy Goldner
Submitted by Judy Goldner on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
So that’s why I haven’t seen you around the “campus”. I wish you a speedy (well, timely) recovery mode. - Rudy Kass
Submitted by Rudy Kass on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Hi Warner, First let me wish you a Happy (somewhat belated) Birthday. And let me thank you one more time for saving my life. You were the one who caught me when I was falling after passing out, thus preventing me from hitting my head on the floor. I am forever grateful. My thoughts are with you and Carolyn at this time. I’m sorry that I haven’t gotten to know you better. Looking forward to that opportunity. Best, Marilyn
Submitted by Marilyn Kolodney on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner, I want to wish you the very best. I pray for you everyday in hopes that my prayers will do some good. I send my very best to your lovely wife Carolyn and I want you to know that I hope for the best with respect to you everyday. Best regards, Larry
Submitted by Lawrence X. Clifford on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
As academic physicians we have affected the lives of hundreds of trainees and colleagues as well as thousands of patients. None of us who know Warner well are at all surprised by the huge outpouring of affection and respect for such a superbly gifted physician scientist and committed humanist. After an encounter with him, I am certain many others have thought, as have I, 'Warner is the epitome of the best BIH tradition. I will try to be as accomplished as he is.'
Submitted by Julian M. Aroesty on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner: Best wishes for you and Carolyn with the hope of a prompt recovery of your illness. I allways remenber our meetings in Boston and your visit to Rio and I am always thinking of a new one in the future. 'Um abraço' from your brazilian friend Lobo
Submitted by LUIZ CARLOS LOBO on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner, I am among the many who miss your touch of kindness in the Village. My thoughts and love are with you and Carolyn through this difficult time. Shirley
Submitted by Shirley Goldberg on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner and Carolyn, I think of you both every day and send heartfelt wishes for your recovery. I miss seeing you walking hand in hand down the linkway; miss your smiles; miss your kindness to all. With all love, Carol
Submitted by Carol Tashjian on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner, We first met in 1976 when I came to the lab to interview for a programming position. I had just read an article in Psychology Today regarding experiments with computer assisted soliloquy conducted by you and your brother. I was intrigued by the article and was delighted when you hired me. Thus began forty years working together and with others to develop health promotion interactive programs and to study patient computer interaction. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work with you, Warner and to have you as a dear friend. You possess the unique combination of intelligence, kindness, dedication, generosity, and humor. I learned so much from you, not only how to write interactive programs that are engaging as well as informative, but more importantly the best way to live one’s life. I am saddened by your illness and hope you can return home soon. With much love, Holly
Submitted by Holly Kowaloff on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Warner, Belated Happy Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day & hope each day brings joy of knowing that you are loved by everybody who have known you! Best wishes to you & Caroline,Sushi
Submitted by Sushi Gawande on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Dear Carolyn and Warner, We are missing you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you everyday. At Sunday brunch, I was looking for Warner’s smiling face. Your presence at the Village offered welcome with medical support and like ‘knit-wits’ gentle gestures of love and concern. With our love, Susan and Dave
Submitted by Susan and Dave ... on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
Warner, I met Charlie Safran in 1990, and through working as a data gatherer and entry clerk I was eventually posted as a research assistant and project coordinator at the CCC. Working with you was an experience that brought together so many disparate parts of my experience while also springing me into new possibilities. I always appreciated that you got to know the people that contributed to your efforts; you certainly conveyed your support for your employees while seeing them as an entire person. I recall talking with you one time about a capella and voice and chorus groups, and your expressing that you believed that certain pursuits we engage in are fundamentally important (even if they might seem like hobbies). When I was working with you I was humbled by you and the research fellows of Harvard Med that I met and worked with at the CCC; but the office was like a family and that was an accomplishment of your doing and showed the benign influence of your personality. I have not seen you much over the intervening years, but your influence on me has never diminished in any way, and I was so touched that you were present at the celebration of my mother’s life since you were an incredibly important figure in Emily (Mom’s) life. Take good care and know that I and others you have graced with your sense of humor and broad smile are sending you the best vibes and warm wishes. G-d bless, Jason E. Boro, Esq., M.A.
Submitted by Jason Boro on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
To Warner and Carolyn----My thoughts are always with you and wish you all the best . the place is not the same without you so hurry up and come back to us at Lasell. I think of you walking together hand in hand and seeming to be so happy. MUch love Mary Black
Submitted by Mary Black on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
On June 15th. the University of Chicago -- one of our most selective, prestigious universities -- announced it would no longer require SAT scores with an application for admission. 'SAT or ACT optional' a decade's long campaign for Warner and many others. Bill Hiss, perhaps the national leader from admissions experience and research, describes Chicago's move feeling 'as if a major ice floe from Antarctica just fell into the ocean.' He sent thanks for Warner, for his years of interest and support.
Submitted by Bill Dill on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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.
Submitted by Howard Munoz-Bennett on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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.
Submitted by Louise Schaper on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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.
Submitted by Charles Safran on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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!
Submitted by Simon Charles L... on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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.
Submitted by Jeffrey Blander on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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.
Submitted by Julie Yoo on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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.
Submitted by Ben Gross on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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
Submitted by Peter L Elkin, MD on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50
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...
Submitted by Tom Delbanco, MD on Fri, 08/24/2018 - 16:50

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