Gov.-elect Laura Kelly selected a medical school faculty member and officer in the Kansas Army National Guard to serve as interim secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Lee Norman, who has worked 26 years as a chief medical officer or senior health system executive, including the University of Kansas Health System, has experience with Medicare, Medicaid, commercial health insurance and case management. He recently deployed to the Middle East with the 35th Infantry Division, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth.

“It is my priority to bring together the best and brightest leaders to help rebuild Kansas,” Kelly said.

She said he had “a broad range of experience that will help improve the efficiency of our agencies and provide the best possible oversight.”

Kelly is scheduled to be sworn into office next Monday. Norman would replace Jeff Andersen, who was put in charge of KDHE one year ago by then-Gov. Sam Brownback.

Norman is the state surgeon of Kansas, serving as senior adviser to the adjutant general of the Kansas National Guard on medical policy, troop readiness and medical oversight of on-site chemical and biological surveillance.

Norman, a lieutenant colonel, recently served as the 35th Infantry Division’s surgeon for a Middle East deployment, which made him senior medical commander for 12,000 U.S. soldiers.

“Like Governor-elect Laura Kelly, I have committed much of my life to public service,” Norman said. “I look forward to working together with a diverse group of leaders to improve our state’s health programs.”

Norman also is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and on the board of Heart to Heart International, a humanitarian organization headquartered in Lenexa.