Dr. Jonathan T. Hlivko

Graduate Education Information

Residency: Internal Medicine, Akron, Ohio.
Internship:  Internal Medicine, Akron, Ohio
Medical School: Medical College of Virginia of Virginia Commonwealth University

Board Certification

Board Certified in Gastroenterology 
Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Contact Information

Alliance Gastroenterology 270 E. State Street, Suite 120
Alliance, Ohio 44601



Dawn French, ACNP

Dawn completed her Master's of Science Degree in Nursing with a focus as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from Kent State University. She has training and experience working with the critically ill in an ICU setting as a nurse practicioner working with ultrasound and placement of Central Lines. Dawn has worked at Alliance Community Hospital since 1995, and her focus is now on Gastroenterology.


Contact Information

Alliance Community Medical Foundation, LLC
270 E. State St., Suite G-110
Alliance, OH 44601
(330) 829-0951
fax: 330-829-1949

What Is a Gastroenterologist?

Gastroenterologists, or "GI doctors," are medical specialists with extensive training in diseases of the digestive tract. Often, gastroenterologists lead teams of nurse practitioners (NPs) or physician assistants (PAs) who also focus on digestive health. They can each listen to your problems, perform tests to make a diagnosis, answer your questions and prescribe the best course of treatment to help you feel better.

People with digestive health conditions often benefit from being treated by a health-care provider who specializes in helping people with these conditions. The digestive system includes the large and small intestines (25-foot-long tube that processes food and nutrients), the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. These organs break down and absorb the food we eat so that the nutrients can be transported into the blood stream and delivered to cells throughout the body.

"Good" digestive health indicates an ability to process nutrients through properly functioning gastrointestinal organs, including the stomach, intestine, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. When these organs do not function properly, patients may need to see a gastroenterologist.

Illnesses Treated by Gastroenterologists

In addition to rare disorders of the digestive system, gastroenterologists diagnose or treat the following common conditions:

  • Colorectal cancer, including determining whether you have a genetic risk
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Diverticulitis, diverticulosis and ischemic bowel disease
  • Celiac disease and food intolerances
  • Heartburn and GERD
  • Chronic vomiting and gastroparesis
  • Functional illness, such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, belching and flatulence
  • Peptic ulcer disease and Helicobacter pylori
  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Appendicitis
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Obesity
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • GI infections caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa

Tests Performed by a GI Doctor

Gastroenterologists use a number of techniques to view the organs of the digestive tract. The most common tests they perform are colonoscopy and upper-GI endoscopy.

Colonoscopy is performed to examine the large intestine for disease, most commonly colorectal cancer. Everyone age 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer. When performing a colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and a light on the end — called the colonoscope — to view the entire colon and rectum and check for polyps, inflammatory changes or cancer. If polyps (small growths that can become cancerous overtime) are found, they often can be removed with this procedure.

Endoscopy can be helpful in the evaluation or diagnosis of various problems, including difficult or painful swallowing, pain in the stomach or abdomen, bleeding, ulcers, tumors, and problems with the gallbladder, pancreas and bile ducts. An endoscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny video camera and light on the end. By adjusting the controls on the endoscope, the gastroenterologist can safely guide the instrument to carefully examine the inside lining of the upper digestive system. In some cases, GIs can treat digestive conditions through the endoscope.

*Source: American Gastroenterological Association,

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