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Sahana  Rajasekhara

Sahana Rajasekhara, MD, FACP

Interim Chair, Department of Supportive Care Medicine

Specialty: Hospice & Palliative Medicine

Program: Supportive Care Medicine

  • Overview

    Dr. Sahana Rajasekhara is the Interim Department Chair for the Supportive Care Medicine Program at Moffitt Cancer Center. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Florida. Dr. Rajasekhara holds board certifications in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In addition, Dr. Rajasekhara is credentialed as a Physician Nutrition Specialist.  As the Medical Director for the Inpatient Palliative Care Service and the Program Co-Lead for Moffitt’s Improving Goal-Concordant Care initiative, in collaboration with the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers (ADCC), she is dedicated to enhancing access to palliative care and improving goal-concordant care throughout the institution. Dr. Rajasekhara has been actively involved in graduate medical education and has held various leadership positions, including serving as the Assistant Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship at Staten Island University Hospital. Currently, she serves as the Fellowship Site Director for the USF-Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship. She is passionate about teaching and training medical students, residents, and fellows. With extensive experience in medical education, she frequently serves as an instructor and invited speaker at local and regional conferences.  Dr. Rajasekhara’s clinical interests include cancer cachexia and nutrition, management of cancer-related and treatment-related pain and other symptoms, and palliative care education.  Dr. Rajasekhara advocates for patient and provider education, emphasizing the importance of symptom management and palliative care integration. She actively promotes the advancement of Palliative Medicine and is dedicated to integrating palliative care education and training within various oncologic fellowship programs. 

    Education & Training

    Fellowship:

    • Staten Island University Hospital, NY, NY - Geriatric Medicine

    Residency:

    • Staten Island University Hospital, NY, NY - Internal Medicine
    • Staten Island University Hospital, NY, NY - Internal Medicine
  • Publications

    • Mosley SA, Cicali E, Del Cueto A, Portman DG, Donovan KA, Gong Y, Langaee T, Gopalan P, Schmit J, Starr JS, Silver N, Chang YD, Rajasekhara S, Smith JE, Soares HP, Clare-Salzler M, Starostik P, George TJ, McLeod HL, Fillingim RB, Hicks JK, Cavallari LH. CYP2D6-guided opioid therapy for adults with cancer pain: A randomized implementation clinical trial. Pharmacotherapy. 2023 Dec.43(12):1286-1296. Pubmedid: 37698371.
    • Marshall VK, Chavez M, Efre A, Lake PW, Rigg KK, Lubrano B, Pabbathi S, Rajasekhara S, Tyson DM. Barriers to Adequate Pain Control and Opioid Use Among Cancer Survivors: Implications for Nursing Practice. Cancer Nurs. 2023 Aug.46(5):386-393. Pubmedid: 37607374. Pmcid: PMC10232667.
    • Loggers ET, Case AA, Chwistek M, Dale W, Guay MOD, Edge SB, Grossman SR, Gustin J, Nelson J, Rajasekhara S, Reddy A, Tulsky JA, Zachariah F, Landrum KM. ADCC's Improving Goal Concordant Care Initiative: Implementing Primary Palliative Care Principles. J Pain Symptom Manag. 2023 Aug.66(2):e283-e297. Pubmedid: 37257523.
    • Chavez MN, Tyson DM, Lake PW, Gutierrez A, Sherry P, Rigg KK, Marshall V, Henderson H, Rajasekhara S, Pabbathi S, Lubrano B. 'They say you can get addicted': Exploring factors that fuel the fear of addiction to prescription opioids among cancer survivors. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 2022 May.31(3):e13582. Pubmedid: 35354227.
    • Rajasekhara S, Portman DG, Chang YD, Haas MF, Randich AL, Bromberg HS, Rashid S, Donovan KA. Rate of cannabis use in older adults with cancer. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2022 Jun.12(2):178-181. Pubmedid: 33177114.
    • Marshall VK, Chavez M, Efre A, Lake PW, Rigg KK, Lubrano B, Pabbathi S, Rajasekhara S, Tyson DM. Barriers to Adequate Pain Control and Opioid Use Among Cancer Survivors: Implications for Nursing Practice. Cancer Nurs. 2022 Dec. Pubmedid: 36480307.
    • Wang HL, Donovan KA, Rajasekhara S, Padhya T, Buck HG, Szalacha L, Chang JM, Brown JD, Smith B. The pre-efficacy phase testing for PAfitME™-A behavioral physical activity intervention to manage moderate and severe symptoms among advanced stage cancer patients. Res Nurs Health. 2021 Feb.44(1):238-249. Pubmedid: 33373078.
    • Tyson DM, Chavez MN, Lake P, Gutierrez A, Sherry P, Rigg KK, Marshall VK, Henderson H, di Ciccone BL, Rajasekhara S, Pabbathi S. Perceptions of prescription opioid medication within the context of cancer survivorship and the opioid epidemic. J Cancer Surviv. 2021 Aug.15(4):585-596. Pubmedid: 33405057.
    • Tyson DM, Chavez MN, Lubrano B, Lake P, Gutierrez A, Marshall VK, Rigg KK, Henderson H, Pabbathi S, Sherry P, Rajasekhara S. Correction to: Understanding Cancer Survivors' Educational Needs about Prescription Opioid Medications: Implications for Cancer Education and Health Literacy. J Cancer Educ. 2021 Aug.36(4):893. Pubmedid: 34143414.
    • Tyson DM, Chavez MN, Lubrano B, Lake P, Gutierrez A, Marshall VK, Rigg KK, Henderson H, Pabbathi S, Sherry P, Rajasekhara S. Understanding Cancer Survivors' Educational Needs About Prescription Opioid Medications: Implications for Cancer Education and Health Literacy. J Cancer Educ. 2021 Apr.36(2):215-224. Pubmedid: 33428119.
    • Bobonis Babilonia M, Donovan KA, Lubrano di Ciccone BB, Rajasekhara S. When orthorexia nervosa meets cancer-A case review. Psychooncology. 2020 Oct.29(10):1507-1509. Pubmedid: 32419241.
    • Donovan KA, Oberoi-Jassal R, Chang YD, Rajasekhara S, Haas MF, Randich AL, Portman DG. Cannabis Use in Young Adult Cancer Patients. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2020 Feb.9(1):30-35. Pubmedid: 31436482.
    • Chang YD, Jung JW, Oberoi-Jassal R, Kim J, Rajasekhara S, Haas M, Smith J, Desai V, Donovan KA, Portman D. Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale and Clinical Characteristics Associated With Cannabinoid Use in Oncology Supportive Care Outpatients. J Natl Compr Canc Ne. 2019 Sep.17(9):1059-1064. Pubmedid: 31487688. Pmcid: PMC7771367.
    • Donovan KA, Chang YD, Oberoi-Jassal R, Rajasekhara S, Smith J, Haas M, Portman DG. Relationship of Cannabis Use to Patient-Reported Symptoms in Cancer Patients Seeking Supportive/Palliative Care. J Palliat Med. 2019 Oct.22(10):1191-1195. Pubmedid: 30794025.
    • Moale AC, Rajasekhara S, Ueng W, Mhaskar R. Educational Intervention Enhances Clinician Awareness of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Teachings around End-of-Life Care. J Palliat Med. 2019 Jan.22(1):62-70. Pubmedid: 30004831.
    • Bulls HW, Hoogland AI, Craig D, Paice J, Chang YD, Oberoi-Jassal R, Rajasekhara S, Haas M, Bobonis M, Gonzalez BD, Portman D, Jim HSL. Cancer and Opioids: Patient Experiences With Stigma (COPES)-A Pilot Study. J Pain Symptom Manag. 2019 Apr.57(4):816-819. Pubmedid: 30703463. Pmcid: PMC6433506.
    • Mosley SA, Hicks JK, Portman DG, Donovan KA, Gopalan P, Schmit J, Starr J, Silver N, Gong Y, Langaee T, Clare-Salzler M, Starostik P, Chang YD, Rajasekhara S, Smith JE, Soares HP, George TJ, McLeod HL, Cavallari LH. Design and rational for the precision medicine guided treatment for cancer pain pragmatic clinical trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2018 May.68:7-13. Pubmedid: 29535047. Pmcid: PMC5899651.
    • Oberoi-Jassal R, Portman D, Smith J, Rajasekhara S, Desai VV, Donovan KA, Chang YD. Burning Mouth Pain: A Case Report. J Oncol Pract. 2018 Jul.14(7):447-448. Pubmedid: 29589986.
    • Chang YD, Smith J, Portman D, Kim R, Oberoi-Jassal R, Rajasekhara S, Davis M. Single Institute Experience With Methylphenidate and American Ginseng in Cancer-Related Fatigue. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2018 Jan.35(1):144-150. Pubmedid: 28299946.
  • Patient Comments

    Overall Satisfaction

    4.7

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