Connecticut   Gastroenterology

John Polio, M.D.

1953 - 2015

A member of 
Connecticut Gastroenterology Associates
for 30 years


In memorium

John Polio, MD, of West Simsbury, 62, died peacefully at home with his family on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Polio was a gastroenterologist with Connecticut Gastroenterology Associates in Hartford, CT. He was a Transplant Hepatologist with the Yale University Liver Transplant Unit and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Polio was raised in Hamden, CT, the son of Helen and the late Salvatore Polio. He graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the College of the Holy Cross. He earned his MD degree from Boston University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, where he was Chief Resident.

Dr. Polio was a fellow in the Digestive Disease Unit at Yale University School of Medicine and was a researcher in the Hepatic Hemodynamic Laboratory at the West Haven Veterans Administration Hospital in West Haven, CT. In 1988, Dr. Polio began his career with Connecticut Gastroenterology Associates, P.C. and would later become Co-Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Unit at Hartford Hospital and Senior Attending Staff within the Department of Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in 2001.

He devoted his career to the care of patients with gastrointestinal disorders, specifically those with diseases of the liver, or in need of a liver transplant. He performed countless procedures and authored over 50 medical publications and abstracts. He won numerous teaching and professionalism awards including the American Liver Foundation’s “Distinguished Achievement Award,” Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center’s “Distinguished Physician Award,” was twice recipient of the “Thomas R. Preston Award of Excellence in Teaching,” and UCONN Gastroenterology-Hepatology Fellows’ “Outstanding Teacher Award.”

Despite his many accomplishments, he always believed his patients were most important. Dr. Polio treated patients with the utmost respect and compassion. His firm commitment to honesty and integrity earned him the admiration and respect of his patients and colleagues alike.

Aside from his career, Dr. Polio was a fun-loving father, brother, son, and husband. His genuine warmth and humor permeated all areas of his life. He loved sailing and traveling West with his family to ski, whitewater raft, and hike around Lake Tahoe, the Tetons, and Big Sur. His utmost enjoyment was spending time in New Hampshire with his family at the small cottage he and his father built. He approached all of life’s hurdles with determination and optimism. Dr. Polio was a remarkable and unique man, who had a number of extraordinary gifts, but it was his love for his family, friends, and work that made him inspirational to those around him.

He will be truly missed by those who knew him. He leaves behind his loving wife Beth, his two sons, Matthew and Andrew, his two daughters, Sarah and Kathryn; his mother Helen Polio of Hamden, CT; his sister Mary Ellen Heike and her husband Wayne and brothers-in-law, Paul and Peter Whitehead.


The family asks that any donations be made in Dr. Polio’s memory to:
Project Purple, 141 South Main Street Beacon Falls, CT 06403 (, or

The American Liver Foundation (ALF), 127 Washington Ave, North Haven, CT 06473.



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