Palliative Care

Palliative care is a specialized form of medical care intended for people with serious illnesses to provide an extra layer of support to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care often focuses on alleviating pain and symptoms associated with illnesses, such as cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, and ALS.

Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Treatments to cure the illness continue alongside palliative care. Hospice care is for those with a terminal illness who are no longer looking for curative treatments. Palliative care helps those with serious, life-threatening conditions who are also working with other medical doctors to cure the illness.

Palliative care strives to:

  • Provide relief from the physical, mental, social and spiritual suffering that can accompany serious illness.
  • Assist with the management of symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, nausea, constipation, depression and
  • anxiety, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
  • Work with patients and families to establish a patient’s goals of care, taking into consideration personal preferences and values.
  • Collaborate with your healthcare providers to establish a comprehensive plan of care that addresses your present
  • concerns while anticipating your future needs.
  • Explain advance directives (living wills) and assist in their completion, including the Indiana POST (Physicians
  • Orders for Scope of Treatment).

The Palliative Care team

The IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Palliative Care team includes physicians, advanced practice providers, social workers, and chaplains. All work together with you, your loved ones and your healthcare providers to determine goals of care. We recognize the emotional struggles that our patients endure, and we are specially trained and prepared to assist in whatever way we can to best serve our patients’ needs.

Many people who are facing serious or life-threatening illnesses experience physical discomfort and emotional distress related to their condition. Patients and families must make difficult decisions regarding goals for medical treatment or non-treatment, advance directive choices, and desires for care within a private home or an extended care facility. Spiritual concerns, financial decisions, and feelings of grief also weigh heavily on the minds of patients and their loved ones. Our team is here to assist throughout the patient's illness.

How can I receive palliative care?

In the hospital, the palliative care service is available for consultation. Your healthcare provider may initiate a referral for palliative care. Patients and families who are interested in palliative care support are encouraged to request a referral from their healthcare provider. Hospital case managers and social workers can also assist with referrals for palliative care. In the community, patients and health professionals can contact the palliative care office for outpatient consultation.


Kenneth Cornetta, MD

Board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology

Dr. Cornetta joins IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians’ palliative care program. He holds a medical degree from Albany Medical College in New York and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Indiana University. Following this, Dr. Cornetta completed a fellowship in Hematology at the University of Wisconsin. He has spent most of his clinical career in Bone Marrow Transplantation as well as pursing translation research in gene therapy. Since 2014, he has served as fellow in the Palliative Care Program at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Dr. Cornetta is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hematology.

Robert Stone, MD

Board certified Emergency Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine

Dr. Stone comes from Evansville. After high school, he attended Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and graduated from the University of Colorado Medical School in 1977. His original training and board certification was in Family Practice, but in 1983 he changed to Emergency Medicine and was certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine in 1987. After working in the Emergency Department in Bloomington for 28 years, he has now shifted his practice to Hospice and Palliative Medicine. During his years in the ED, he served at different times as the Director of Emergency Medicine, Chief of Staff of IU Health Bloomington Hospital, and for six years served on the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Board of Directors. He is currently the Associate Director of IU Health Bloomington Hospice and the Medical Director of the Palliative Care program and is now board certified in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine.

Dr. Stone has three grown children and two grandchildren. He and his wife live just north of Bloomington and enjoy their garden and orchard.

Sarah Tieman, MD

Board Certified internal medicine, pediatrics

Dr. Tieman is board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. She received her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at the University of Louisville.

Marielle Abell, PA-C

Marielle grew up in Vermont. She studied anthropology at Brown University, and went on attend Yale University’s Physician Assistant Program. Marielle has been in practice as a Physician Assistant since 2002, having worked at the IU Student Health Center from 2002-2009. In 2006, she traveled to El Salvador with Team Sight and Bite, assisting with dental procedures and eye exams. Marielle enjoys being a mom, and playing bass with Hogwire Stringband.

Dean Jones, NP

Dean Jones, NP is a certified family nurse practitioner. He earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University and his nurse practitioner graduate degree from Ball State University. Dean also has a master of divinity degree in urban ministry. In his free time, Dean likes to play guitar, read, write and run.