Colonel Lee Norman, MD, MHS, MBA
Kansas Army National Guard
Lee A. Norman, MD, is the former Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), appointed by Governor Laura Kelly. For three years, he oversaw the three KDHE divisions, including Health, Environment, and Healthcare Finance, which includes the Medicaid program (KanCare). He also led the Kansas response to Covid-19 until the time he stepped down in November 2021.
Norman received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota, did his residency in family medicine in Texas, and his aerospace medicine training in the United States Air Force at Brooks AFB in San Antonio.
After serving in the USAF as a family physician, flight surgeon, and combat medicine instructor, he practiced medicine in Seattle for 20 years, also serving in the role of Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Norman has served as Chief Medical Officer for over 26 years, most recently at the University of Kansas Health System and before that the Swedish Health System in Seattle, beginning in 1991. He currently is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Norman served on the governing board and as Chairman of the Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle and, more recently, on the governing board of Heart to Heart International, a humanitarian organization based in Lenexa, Kansas. He currently serves on the Defense Health Board, which advises the US Secretary of Defense on health matters, and additionally on the oversight board of the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center.
In his military role, Norman is a Colonel in the Kansas Army National Guard, stationed at Joint Forces Headquarters in Topeka, Kansas. COL Norman was for five years the State Surgeon of Kansas, guiding medical troop sustainment and training, health services support, force health protection, biosecurity, and advisor and liaison to the Kansas Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He is a bio-threat and pandemic illness advisor to the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center. In 2018 he returned from a Middle East US Army deployment where he was the 35th Infantry Division Surgeon. In this role, he was the Senior Medical Commander over 12,000 US soldiers encompassing three named operations – Freedom Sentinel, Spartan Shield, and Inherent Resolve.
Norman has received these recent awards: in 2020, the Kansas City Medical Society Distinguished Public Service Award and in 2021, the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Power of One Award from Heart to Heart International, and from the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force the Friend of Education ABC Award.
Dr. Norman has two masters degrees, one in health planning and systems analysis from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, and an executive MBA degree from the University of Washington Graduate School of Business. He has two grown children, two grandsons, and an aging, diabetic, one-eyed Australian shepherd, Blue Dog. Dr. Norman is a Midwesterner, born and raised in Iowa. His hobbies and interests include reading, cooking, canning and pickling, technical mountain climbing, and collecting Eskimo art, including native carvings, masks, etchings, and baskets. He resides in Kansas City, Missouri.