The opioid epidemic is beginning to emerge in the Indian American community, according to Vanila Singh, the new Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. The Indian American physician started in her new role on June 12, but said she wanted to keep it on the down-low until she settled in. HHS Secretary Tom Price, who appointed Singh, congratulated the Stanford anesthesiologist on her new role. Singh said she has known Price for a couple of years, while serving as the vice chair of the National Physicians Council on Health Policy. Price, a physician who served in Congress representing Georgia`s sixth congressional district, attended meetings of the council.HHS has identified three primary areas of focus: managing the nationwide opioid epidemic, the growing crisis in mental health, and tackling childhood obesity. Singh said her background is well-suited to the role: for the past 13 years, she has been a clinical professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford. In her practice as an anesthesiologist, Singh specializes in treating patients with complex chronic pain issues.More than two million Americans are affected by opioid overuse, said Singh, noting that at least 90 people die each day from opioid abuse.