Sujatha Sankaran, MD


Sujatha Sankaran is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and subsequently completed her training in Internal Medicine at the Georgetown Universty/Washington Hospital Center program in June 2005. She then worked as an Academic Hospitalist at Columbia University before joining an outpatient medical practice for five years and then joining the Division of Hospital Medicine as an Assistant Clinical Professor in 2011. Sujatha has worked extensively in global health, starting a non-governmental organization aimed at training health workers in the developing world to prevent chronic cardiovascular disease in 2008, and in 2015 was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study mechanisms for cardiovascular disease management in under-resourced areas of Southern India.

Sujatha has also worked on tobacco policy research in India and was formerly the medical director for Smoking Cessation at Moffitt-Long Hospital and until July 2023 was the medical director for inpatient substance use at UCSF Health. In this role, she spearheaded efforts to build an inpatient substance use management program and chairs the Substance Use Committee.

From 2017 to 2021, Sujatha was the director of the quality and safety program for the Department of Neurosurgery. In this role, she led a number of quality improvement projects for the department, delivered a quality improvement curriculum to the neurosurgery residents, led efforts to improve patient safety through the incident reporting and M&M systems, sat on the Neuro unit based leadership team, and acted as a representative of the neurosurgery department in institution-wide efforts to improve quality of neurosurgical care.

Sujatha has a career interest on the intersection between health equity, health care leadership, and high-quality care, and in 2021, she was accepted into the California Health Care Foundation leadership fellowship. In 2023, she graduated from the UCSF Health Learning Health System Coach Program. In November 2022, she became the Chief Medical Officer of one the UCSF-affiliated hospitals, Sonoma Valley Hospital, in Sonoma County. At Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sujatha is focused on improving access to subspecialty care, building a geriatric program, supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion work, and bolstering the linkages between UCSF Health and Sonoma Valley Hospital.
  1. Tong EK, Zhu SH, Anderson CM, Avdalovic MV, Amin AN, Diamant AL, Fong TW, Clay B, El-Kareh R, Sankaran S, Bonniot C, Kirby CA, Mayoral A, Sarna L. Implementation, Maintenance, and Outcomes of an Electronic Referral to a Tobacco Quitline Across Five Health Systems. Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 2023. PMID: 36977494

  2. Oreper S, Bond A, Bazinski M, Tierney M, Fang M, Sankaran S, Rambachan A. A Focused Screening and Clinical Intervention with Streamlined Outpatient Linkage for Hospitalized Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Experiencing Homelessness. Substance abuse : research and treatment. 2023. PMID: 37051016

  3. Sujatha Sankaran. Managing Multiple Medical Comorbidities. Treatment of Spine Disease in the Elderly. 2023. PMID:

  4. Letchuman V, He L, Mummaneni PV, Agarwal N, Campbell LJ, Shabani S, Chan AK, Abrecht CR, Miller C, Sankaran S, Rambachan A, Croci R, Berven SH, Chou D, Holly LT, Guan Z. Racial Differences in Postoperative Opioid Prescribing Practices in Spine Surgical Patients. Neurosurgery. 2022. PMID: 36700672

  5. Reihl SJ, Garcia JH, Morshed RA, Sankaran S, DiGiorgio A, Chou D, Theodosopoulos PV, Aghi MK, Berger MS, Chang EF, Mummaneni PV. Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Neurosurgical Transfers: A Single Tertiary Center Study. World neurosurgery. 2022. PMID: 35944857

  6. Ammanuel SG, Edwards CS, Chan AK, Mummaneni PV, Kidane J, Vargas E, D'Souza S, Nichols AD, Sankaran S, Abla AA, Aghi MK, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Kunwar S, Larson PS, Lawton MT, Starr PA, Theodosopoulos PV, Berger MS, McDermott MW. Are preoperative chlorhexidine gluconate showers associated with a reduction in surgical site infection following craniotomy? A retrospective cohort analysis of 3126 surgical procedures. Journal of neurosurgery. 2021. PMID: 33930864

  7. Simon G Ammanuel, Caleb S Edwards, Andrew K.H Chan, Praveen V Mummaneni, Joseph Kidane, Enrique Vargas, Sarah D’Souza, Amy D Nichols, Sujatha Sankaran, Adib A Abla, Manish K Aghi, Edward F Chang, Shawn L Her vey-Jumper, Sandeep M Kunwar, Paul S Larson, Michael T Lawton, Philip A Starr, Philip V Theodosopoulos, Mitchel S Berger, Michael W McDermott. Preoperative Chlorhexidine Showers Are Not Associated With a Reduction in Surgical Site Infection Following Craniotomy. Neurosurgery. 2020. PMID:

  8. Young JS, Chan AK, Viner JA, Sankaran S, Chan AY, Imershein S, Meary-Miller A, Theodosopoulos PV, Jacques L, Aghi MK, Chang EF, Hervey-Jumper SL, Ward T, Gibson L, Ward MM, Sanftner P, Wong S, Amara D, Magill ST, Osorio JA, Venkatesh B, Gonzales R, Lau C, Boscardin C, Wang M, Berry K, McCullagh L, Reid M, Reels K, Nedkov S, Berger MS, McDermott MW. A Safe Transitions Pathway for post-craniotomy neurological surgery patients: high-value care that bypasses the intensive care unit. Journal of neurosurgery. 2020. PMID: 32470928

  9. Sankaran S, Andrews JP, Chicas M, Wachter RM, Berger MS. Patient safety movement in neurological surgery: the current state and future directions. Journal of neurosurgery. 2019. PMID: 31585429

  10. Jacob S Young, Andrew Kai-Hong Chan, Jennifer Viner, Sujatha Sankaran, Alvin Y Chan, Dominic Amara, Stephen T Magill, Joseph A Osorio, Lizbeth Gibson, Peter Sanftner, Mariann Ward, Tracy Ward, Stacy Wong, Manish K Aghi, Edward F Chang, Shawn L Hervey-Jumper, Line G Jacques, Philip V Theodosopoulos, Mitchel S Berger, Michael W McDermott. Safe Transitions Pathway for Postcraniotomy Neurological Surgery Patients: High-Value Care That Bypasses the Intensive Care Unit. Neurosurgery. 2019. PMID:

  11. Rutkowski M, Sankaran S. Preoperative risk stratification of patient mortality following elective craniotomy; a comparative analysis of prediction algorithms. Journal of clinical neuroscience : official journal of the Neurosurgical Society of Australasia. 2019. PMID: 31279701

  12. Morshed RA, Young JS, Safaee M, Sankaran S, Berger MS, McDermott MW, Hervey-Jumper SL. Delirium Risk Factors and Associated Outcomes in a Neurosurgical Cohort: A Case-Control Study. World neurosurgery. 2019. PMID: 30872201

  13. Breshears JD, Haddad AF, Viner J, Rau J, Sankaran S, McDermott MW. A Reduced Exogenous Steroid Taper for Postoperative Brain Tumor Patients-A Case-Control Study. World neurosurgery. 2019. PMID: 30639502

  14. Flanigan PM, Jahangiri A, Weinstein D, Dayani F, Chandra A, Kanungo I, Choi S, Sankaran S, Molinaro AM, McDermott MW, Berger MS, Aghi MK. Postoperative Delirium in Glioblastoma Patients: Risk Factors and Prognostic Implications. Neurosurgery. 2018. PMID: 29462362

  15. Michael Safaee, Ramin A Morshed, Jordan Spatz, Sujatha Sankaran, Mitchel S Berger, Manish K Aghi. 334 Interfacility Neurosurgical Transfers: An Analysis of Nontraumatic Inpatient and Emergency Department Transfers With Implications for Improvements In Care. Neurosurgery. 2018. PMID:

  16. Safaee MM, Morshed RA, Spatz J, Sankaran S, Berger MS, Aghi MK. Interfacility neurosurgical transfers: an analysis of nontraumatic inpatient and emergency department transfers with implications for improvements in care. Journal of neurosurgery. 2018. PMID: 30074453

  17. Osorio JA, Safaee MM, Viner J, Sankaran S, Imershein S, Adigun E, Weigel G, Berger MS, McDermott MW. Cost-effectiveness development for the postoperative care of craniotomy patients: a safe transitions pathway in neurological surgery. Neurosurgical focus. 2018. PMID: 29712529

  18. Sankaran S, Ravi PS, Wu YE, Shanabogue S, Ashok S, Agnew K, Fang MC, Khanna RA, Dandu M, Harrison JD. An NGO-Implemented Community-Clinic Health Worker Approach to Providing Long-Term Care for Hypertension in a Remote Region of Southern India. Global health, science and practice. 2017. PMID: 29284700

  19. Magill ST, Wang DD, Rutledge WC, Lau D, Berger MS, Sankaran S, Lau CY, Imershein SG. Changing Operating Room Culture: Implementation of a Postoperative Debrief and Improved Safety Culture. World neurosurgery. 2017. PMID: 28843757