Learn more about the members of the Survivorship team at Penn State Children’s Hospital.
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Smita Dandekar, MD
Survivorship Clinic Director and Physician
Dr. Smita Dandekar was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and moved to Mumbai, India, when she was 5 years old. After graduating from Grant Medical College medical school there, she moved to New York City, where she lived for 10 years. She settled in Pennsylvania in 2013.
Dr. Dandekar and her husband have two girls who keep them on their toes. She enjoys traveling and exploring new places. She loves to dance and is trained in Bharatnatyam, a classical Indian dance. In her spare time – which she says doesn’t come often with two young kids – she likes to unwind with a good book. Dr. Dandekar loves to paint and has won several national-level art competitions, something that she hopes to spend more time on when her kids get older.
She considers her role as a director of the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Clinic to be one of the most rewarding experiences of her career. Dr. Dandekar recognizes that each survivor has a unique story and enjoys seeing children and young adults embrace survivorship and take the leap beyond childhood cancer.
Survivorship Clinic Genetic Counselor
Krista Krol-Buch is a recent graduate from Arcadia University with a Master’s in Genetic Counseling. She received her Bachelors in Cellular Biology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics from Boston University.
In her spare time she loves to travel, cook, listen to podcasts and spend as much quality time as she can with her nieces and nephews. She has a special interest in studying the psychological impact that somatic tumor profiling can have on patients and their families.
She is currently the genetic counselor for the Pediatric Cancer Genetics Program. She is excited to now be a part of the Survivorship Clinic. She is passionate about working with patients to help them gain a better understanding of how genetics can play a role in childhood cancer.
Amanda L. Musser, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, CATP
Survivorship Clinic Social Worker
Amanda Musser is excited to be able to offer her services in social work as part of the Survivorship Clinic.
She has worked in a variety of settings in the area, including an extensive background in mental health services and oncology, but her favorite setting to work in so far is Survivorship.
She is from central Pennsylvania and holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California. She is in the process of obtaining her doctorate in social work at Millersville University.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and daughter, horseback riding, traveling (especially to Disney) and coaching her daughter’s softball team. A fun fact: When she was 19, she lived in London, England, for several months while attending a study-abroad program. She also played softball in college.
Rowena Sheils, BSN, RN
Survivorship Clinic Nurse Coordinator
Rowena Sheils was born and raised in the Philippines, where she completed her nursing degree at St. Paul University. She moved to El Paso, Texas, in 1990, before arriving in Pennsylvania in 2008.
She is married and has two teenage children and a loving dog. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family, gardening, reading action thriller novels and watching TV series on Netflix.
She considers herself privileged to be the Survivorship Clinic nurse coordinator and says, “The survivors and their families are the bravest people I know.”
Christina Toepke, CRNP
Survivorship Clinic Nurse Practitioner
Christina Toepke is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Thomas Jefferson University and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and nursing as well as a master’s degree in pediatric nurse practitioner studies.
She has two young children. She started working at Penn State Children’s Hospital in the inpatient hematology/oncology unit after graduating from nursing school. Her initial plan was to try it out because she was uncertain about the position, but she quickly fell in love with her patients and their families. That was six years ago, and she has never thought of changing career paths.
She now serves as the nurse practitioner for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Survivorship Program. She loves the mission of the clinic as well as being able to celebrate huge milestones with all survivors. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family, vacationing at the family beach house and rooting for her favorite home teams (Go Eagles, Go Phillies!)