Advize Health is honored to feature Gary C. Norman, a Healthcare Lawyer, Intrepid Guide Dog Handler, Mason Public Servant, Former Presidential Management Fellow, and Creative Leader and Solutions Broker.
Coining the terms: “lawyer with a disability” and “Chair of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights,” would not have been possible without Mr. Gary C. Norman. For 20 years, he has navigated and surmounted barriers, forging a unique career as a lawyer, who happens to be blind. He has been matched with a guide dog since 2001 finding his own path, also with the help of his sighted allies and furry sidekicks. In his career as a healthcare attorney, Norman has been able to manage and coordinate a public policy portfolio and broker the dialogue of national experts in addressing the healthcare disparities of people with disabilities in a complex, reimbursement-based, healthcare system. He has also practiced Medicare appeals law and policy, as a federal attorney, for fifteen years.
Gary C. Norman is an example of what can happen when we expand opportunities for leaders in the law committed to a life of servitude. Yet too many of our fellow citizens, including law students with disabilities and young lawyers with disabilities, do not enjoy equal access to opportunity in leading others.
Norman served as a detailed policy advisor at the Office of Minority Health, providing a legal and disability policy perspective. Norman provided legal analysis, technical assistance, and policy recommendations. With personal positive and negative experience with the healthcare sector as a dog handler, he has also facilitated several dialogues, in the past, at the Center on Medicine and Law at the University of Baltimore to address healthcare disparities. In addition to this, he has long engaged a wide range of pro bono activities.
Norman presided over the Board of Commissioners at Maryland’s Commission on Civil Rights. He co-led the Agency to a new three-year strategic plan, also diversifying the Board to include three new women Commissioners. One of whom is a woman Commissioner with a disability. MCCR has a budget of several million dollars with a priceless mission to protect the public against discrimination. Norman served at the Board of Commissioners across a Democratic Governor and a Republican Governor, exemplifying the importance of non-partisan public service. As Chair, he served as a representative stakeholder at the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Therefore, Norman is a model of a beacon of hope in America for 26% of Americans who are disabled, demonstrating that the term “disability” should never mean “incapability” of holding a voice or seat in any public office.
He has been recognized on several occasions. Such as:
- Leader in Diversity (Baltimore Business Journal 2021)
- C.M.S. Administrator’s Award for Empowerment of Patients 2020 (“Addressing Healthcare Accessibility and Quality of People with Disabilities”)
- CMS Team Honor Award for Valuing Stakeholder Feedback2018) (“advancing accessibility solutions in health care for people with disability through community and provider feedback and inter-government quality improvement initiatives” )
- Visiting Fellow during the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the non-partisan Robert J. Dole Institute for Politics
- Commendation by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ohio General Assembly for Civic Leadership and Engagement–May 2009
- Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, Wright State University, and Commendation Certificate by Mayor of the City of Dayton Ohio–May 2009
- Ten Outstanding Young Americans, Jaycees of the United States—September 2009
In sum, Norman has been a warm reminder that we truly have caring individuals who want to better this world. On behalf of Advize Health, we would like to congratulate Gary for this award that will serve as a marking for all his past and current successes.