Vanila Singh

Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford Medicine

Dr. Vanila Singh is an American physician, educator, policy maker, and patient advocate dedicated to public health and currently tackling one of the nation’s most widespread, expensive, and devastating epidemics of our time: the opioid and greater drug epidemic. As a double-board certified faculty physician in both anesthesiology and pain medicine, she is an expert in understanding the underlying mechanisms of complex acute and chronic pain. Dr. Singh has spent over 15 years at the Stanford University School of Medicine as a Clinical Associate Professor where her practice focuses on regional anesthesia with a specialty in advanced ultrasound-guided procedures.

In 2017, Dr. Singh was appointed by the White House to serve as the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH). She was later concurrently appointed by the Assistant Secretary for Health as the Acting Regional Director for Region 9 (CA, NV, AZ, HI, and the Pacific Islands) and served dual leadership roles through her HHS tenure.

In her role as the U.S. Department of HHS Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Singh was integral in shaping the Department’s opioid policy recommendations. She served as Chairperson of the highly regarded Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, for the CARA Legislative Act of 2016, where she brought together and led 29 expert Task Force members in pain medicine, addiction, mental health, minority health, Veterans’ health, as well as professional medical organizations representatives and respected members from FDA, CDC, NIH and others. Under her leadership, the Task Force submitted a comprehensive Report to the U.S. Congress on May 30th 2019, that received over 150 endorsements from various stakeholder organization, included over 500 scholarly references and 10,000 public comments, and utilized machine learning to analyze new and emerging trends in the pain management praise from the public and private sector across all disciplines – such as with the American Medical Association, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Human Rights Watch, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the American Society of Hematology, the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.