Dr. Vanila M. Singh

Dr. Vanila M. Singh, MD, MACM, has served as Chief Medical Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since June 2017. The Chief Medical Officer is the primary medical advisor to HHS leadership on a wide array of public health issues. Dr. Singh brings expertise in pain medicine, opioid use and misuse, medical ethics, economics, and molecular biology. Currently, Dr. Singh’s main focus at HHS is addressing the opioid crisis that is affecting families and communities across the nation. Major initiatives include leading the development of the Task Force on Pain Management as required by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act 2016, implementing the National Pain Strategy, and renewing the Behavioral Health Coordinating Council to align with current HHS priorities. Other activities include engaging with professional health care organizations as they are the primary stakeholders that interface between HHS policies and patients.

Dr. Singh is currently on leave from the Stanford University School of Medicine to serve as the Chief Medical Officer. She has been a clinical associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative, and pain medicine at Stanford for 13 years. Board-certified in both anesthesiology and pain medicine, Dr. Singh specializes in treating patients with complex chronic pain issues. Her practice focuses on regional anesthesia with a specialty in advanced ultrasound-guided procedures for pain management and anesthesia medicine. Dr. Singh graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in both molecular and cell biology and economics. She received her medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Dr. Singh completed her internal medicine internship at Yale University School of Medicine and her anesthesiology residency and pain medicine fellowship at Cornell-Weill New York Hospital, which included training at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Hospital for Special Surgery. She received a master’s degree in academic medicine through the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in 2016.