Community Health Network

Ranked among the nation's most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana's leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions, workplaces, schools and homes.

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Community Cancer Care

Symptom Management Group

Treating the emotional and physical challenges of cancer and chronic disease

Chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure are illnesses that can cause many physical and emotional symptoms. Providing comfort, relieving symptoms, and easing distress caused from disease and treatment is known as symptom management. With an endpoint of improving patients’ quality of life, we focus on identifying and controlling troublesome symptoms, integrating issues related to coping as well as interpersonal and family relationships. We believe this inclusive approach will enable patients to feel better and regain strength and hope.

Our goal is to manage patients’ symptoms to allow them to:

  • Participate fully in life
  • Continue to be active and productive members of their family and society
  • Maintain a high level of daily functioning
  • Continue to have a meaningful life experience

Services for patients and families

The Symptom Management Group benefits patients and families through the following services:

  • Conduct an extensive patient assessment.
  • Identify specific troublesome symptoms.
  • Identify disease treatment side effects that can be managed.
  • Provide patient with effective and constructive symptom treatment options.
  • Establish a treatment program to control the symptoms.
  • Provide follow-up care on a regular basis.
  • Provide long-term or short-term management, as needed.
  • Provide patient with a mechanism for communication of progress or new concerns.
  • Assist patient in developing productive family and interpersonal communications.
  • Treat emotional and physical distress that comes with physical illness.
  • Manage pain and other difficult effects of cancer.
  • Identify coping mechanisms for living with chronic disease and its effects, including depression, anxiety, desperation, sleeplessness, fatigue, emotional crises, confusion, inability to cope and decision-making difficulty.

Symptom Management Group team

Dale Theobald, PhD, MDDale Theobald, PhD, MD

Dr. Theobald is a board certified psychiatrist with a certificate of added qualifications in addictions. He is also certified in hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Theobald is medical director of both Community's Home Health Hospice and the Symptom Management Group and chairman of Community’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). He provides quality-of-life care and treatment for cancer and cardiac patients and actively develops and oversees symptom control research protocols. He has focused his private practice on symptom management since 1995.

Nancy Fields, MSN, APRN, BCNancy Fields, MSN, APRN, BC

Nancy Fields is a board certified adult nurse practitioner. She is a certified hospice palliative nurse and a certified case manager. Her palliation education and work experience make her a perfect fit for Community’s patients with symptoms due to cancer and other chronic illnesses, as well as life adjustment issues. Nancy has worked with the Symptom Management Group since 2011. Prior to that, she worked at Community Home Health Services for more than 10 years, helping home care patients and inpatients manage their pain and symptom concerns.

Carla Mathison, MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SWCarla Mathison, MSW, LCSW, ACHP-SW

Carla Mathison is a licensed clinical social worker with certification in hospice and palliative care. She has worked for Community Health Network over 20 years, most recently with the inpatient palliative care team, Life’s Journey: Choices in Care. Prior to Life’s Journey, she was a case manager in the sub-acute rehab unit at Community Hospital East. Carla has extensive experience working with patients and families facing chronic illness and life-altering situations.


Suzi C. Schoon, DNA, PMHCNS, BCSuzi C. Schoon, DNA, PMHCNS, BC

Suzi C. Schoon is a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in mental health and psychiatry. She has extensive psychiatric consultation experience with patients coping with complex medical problems. She has a strong background in complementary therapies including teaching and practice in Therapeutic Touch. Dr. Schoon works directly with patients to manage symptoms and quality-of-life issues related to living with chronic illness.

Proud sponsors

  • Indiana Fever
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • Indiana Pacers
  • Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
  • Indy Eleven

Health and wellness shopping

  • Home Health Medical online store for medical supplies and equipment
  • Wellspring Pharmacy
  • FigLeaf Boutique
  • Jasmine gift shop