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Established in 1987

Connecting Gifts of Life to Those in Need

Donor Network West is a federally designated nonprofit 501(c)3 and Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) with headquarters in northern California and northern Nevada. Our organization is committed to helping save and heal lives, supporting donor families and developing organ donation as a fundamental human responsibility.

Our Mission

Our mission is to save and heal lives through organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research.

The Areas We Serve

Donor Network West serves more than 13 million people and connects organ donors to those in need in 45 counties in northern California and northern Nevada.

Community Partnerships

  • Our mission to save and heal lives is made possible by our partnership with 175 hospitals, doctors, nurses, more than 500 funeral homes and 44 coroners and medical examiners.
  • We are proud members of Donate Life, Donate Life California and Donate Life Nevada organizations and accredited members of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
  • We work in close partnership with researchers in academic medical centers, hospitals, universities, and biotechnology centers to advance their research programs with organ and tissue donations.
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Saving & Healing Lives Through Research & Development

Organ and tissue donations for research purposes help the medical community work on the development of new treatment plans and create opportunities to advance new medical breakthroughs to save and heal lives in the future.

“We have immense admiration, respect, and gratitude for the entire Donor Network West team, and for the generous donors and families of donors who make this research possible.”
E.J. Chichilnisky, Ph.D. | Professor of Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology, Stanford University
Learn More about Research and Development

A Look Back in Time

The History of Donor Network West

  • 1984 | Congress passes the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA).

    Congress passes the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA). The Act called for the establishment of a national organ matching system and the establishment of a private, federally mandated network of non profit organizations to be tasked with the regional recovery and placement of donor organs. In the 1970s and early 1980s, transplant centers coordinated their own recoveries with some programs sharing organs with each other on a regional basis. In 1986, the Northern California Transplant Bank (NCTB) was founded to coordinate donations in hospitals on behalf of the transplant programs.

  • 1986 | Northern California Transplant Bank (NCTB) is founded

    Northern California Transplant Bank (NCTB) is founded to coordinate donations in hospitals on behalf of the transplant programs.

  • 1987 | California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN) is started

    An executive committee of high-level hospital administrators of the four major transplant centers in Northern California came together to develop an independent Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) in response to NOTA. The resulting structure became known as California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN) whose mission was based on recovering organs for transplantation while NCTB’s mission remained focused on tissue recovery. Phyllis Weber was appointed Executive Director of CTDN. In the first year, 15 employees were recruited whose functions were a combination of hospital education and donor management.

  • 2007 | Phyllis Weber retires

    Phyllis Weber retired as Executive Director of California Transplant Donor Network after serving the organization for 20 years.

  • 2008 | Cynthia Siljestrom is appointed CEO

    Cynthia Siljestrom was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of CTDN.

  • 2010 | CTDN becomes the single point contact for both organ and tissue recovery

    CTDN transitioned three regional tissue bank recovery service programs, Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), Tissue Banks International (TBI), and Community Tissue Services (CTS), to an internal department. Bringing the tissue recovery in-house made CTDN the single point of contact for both organ and tissue recovery within its donation service area. With the combination of these recovery services, CTDN was able to increase donation rates while making the process easier for hospitals and donor families.

  • 2011 | CTDN settles in San Leandro, CA

    CTDN establishes an Operations Center in San Leandro, California.

  • 2012 | Location in Reno, NV is opened

    CTDN opened a Nevada headquarters office in Reno.

  • 2014 | CTDN launches research department

    CTDN formally launched a research department. In addition to transplantation, donation for research purposes may save and heal future lives through the advancement of medical research. Research donations help increase knowledge of diseases and allow for the development of novel medications to treat them.

  • 2015 - March | CTDN becomes Donor Network West

    California Transplant Donor Network changed its name to Donor Network West. The new name captures the organization’s commitment to practicing excellence and compassion in the journey of the donated gift and more accurately describes their service area, which includes northern Nevada.

  • 2015 - June | Donor Network West establishes headquarters in San Ramon, CA

    Donor Network West consolidated its Oakland and San Leandro offices into its new headquarters in San Ramon, California.

  • 2015 - December | Fresno, CA office relocates

    Donor Network Wests relocated its Fresno office.

  • 2016 | Donor Network West and San Ramon Regional Medical Center expand care

    Donor Network West began a partnership with San Ramon Regional Medical Center (SRRMC). Under the collaboration, the first of its kind in California, specific organ donors are transferred to the hospital’s facilities as a way to accommodate a more certain time frame for donor families for the recovery of organs. SRRMC is located across the street from Donor Network West’s headquarters.

  • 2016 - July | Clinic Center opens

    Donor Network West’s Clinical Center opens in San Ramon.

  • 2018 | Cindy Siljestrom retires

    Donor Network West’s Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Siljestrom, retires. Sean Van Slyck named Interim CEO.

  • 2019 | Janice F. Whaley becomes CEO

  • 2022 | Donor Network West Establishes the Northern Nevada Advisory Committee

    Donor Network West establishes the Northern Nevada Advisory Committee on organ donation to advance and increase new opportunities for organ donation education and outreach in the northern Nevada community.

    Donor Network West opens new northern Nevada headquarters in Reno.

    Donor Network West celebrates its 35th anniversary of saving and healing lives.

Our Core Values


Donor Network West’s team members are caring professionals aligned with our mission who give their all to help save lives and inspire our communities to donate life.

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Donor Network West’s team members are solution-oriented, team-focused, bold change agents utilizing our experience and expertise to optimize the gift of life.

Staff Run Walk

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Donor Network West’s team members respect and value people of all backgrounds; appreciate and celebrate differences in others and create an environment of equity and inclusion with opportunities for everyone to reach their potential.


Donor Network West’s team members are respectful stewards who honor donors, show compassion and support for donor families, advocate for recipients and empower collaboration with external/internal partners.