Lee A. Norman is the Senior Medical Director of Optum Kansas City, the country’s newest OptumCare market. As the city’s inaugural medical director, Dr. Norman is dedicated to advancing Optum’s patient-centric, comprehensive, cost-effective, and high value care. He is also committed to assisting medical professionals as they deliver the best care possible with focus on prevention, early detection, and timely treatment.
Dr. Norman’s rich background includes service in the United States Air Force as a family physician, flight surgeon, and combat medicine instructor. He practiced medicine for 20 years in Seattle and filled the role of Chief Medical Officer for nearly three decades, most recently with the University of Kansas Health System. In addition to leading Optum’s Kansas City mission, Dr. Norman is a clinical faculty member at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He also serves in the Kansas Army National Guard, having earned the title colonel, and serving five years as the State Surgeon.
In 2018, Dr. Norman returned from a Middle East deployment where he cared for more than 12,000 US soldiers as the 35th Infantry Division Surgeon, covering three named operations: Freedom Sentinel, Spartan Shield, and Inherent Resolve. Among his many honors, Dr. Norman was awarded two Meritorious Service Medals and the Truman Foundation’s Philip Pistilli Silver Veterans Medal for military and civilian accomplishments.
Since 2008, he has served as a bio-threat team intelligence analyst with the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center. He also served as the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for three years and as the senior state health official leading the Covid-19 pandemic response.
Dr. Norman received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota, completed his residency in family medicine in Texas, and his aerospace medicine training at Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio. He holds a master’s degree in health planning and a master’s degree in systems analysis from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, as well as an MBA from the University of Washington.
Dr. Norman is a member of the United States Defense Health Board, which advises the Secretary of Defense, and the MRIGlobal Board of Advisors, a global not-for-profit research and analytics firm headquartered in Kansas City. He has also served on the boards of several charitable and humanitarian organizations, including Heart to Heart International, based in Lenexa, Kansas. He has two grown children, two grandsons, and an aging, diabetic, one-eyed Australian shepherd, Blue Dog. Born and raised in Iowa, Dr. Norman is a true Midwesterner with interests in reading, cooking, canning and pickling, technical mountain climbing, and collecting Alaskan Native art. He resides in Kansas City, Missouri.