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Kansas Department of Health and Environment secretary steps down

Posted at 10:16 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 11:16:32-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman is stepping down from his position.

Until a permanent candidate is appointed, KDHE Deputy Secretary Ashley Goss will serve as acting secretary, according to a news release from Gov. Laura Kelly's office.

Norman has been the KDHE secretary since Kelly took office in 2019.

“I want to thank Dr. Lee Norman for his service to the people of Kansas these last three years, and particularly for his leadership and his tireless efforts to fight this unprecedented pandemic,” Kelly said in the release. “From the first confirmed case until today, Dr. Norman has played a vital role within this administration to provide guidance and help steer our state’s response to the virus. His and his team’s work to keep Kansans safe during this once-in-a-century public health crisis has cemented his place as the most consequential Secretary of Health and Environment in Kansas history.”

Prior to becoming secretary, Norman worked as a family physician, flight surgeon and combat medicine instructor in the United States Air Force, and he also was chief medical officer for the University of Kansas Health System.

According to the release, Norman "spearheaded Kansas' response to COVID-19 including the state's Unified Testing Strategy, the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine that has been administered to more than 1.7 million Kansans and a robust, statewide vaccine hesitancy campaign."

“I want to thank Governor Kelly for the privilege of serving the people of Kansas during this unique, challenging, and important moment in our state’s history,” Norman said in the release. “I could not be more proud of each and every staff member at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For the last two years they have gone above and beyond facing unimaginable circumstances to create and execute the framework of the Kansas’ COVID-19 response strategy.”