About Us

Donor Network West is a federally designated nonprofit, 501(c)3, organ procurement and tissue recovery organization (OPO). Established in 1987, we serve more than 13 million people and connect a donor’s gift to those in need in 45 counties in Northern California and Northern Nevada.

Organ, eye, and tissue donation offers the hope to heal. The generous decisions of donors and their families allow us to recover and allocate organs and tissues for transplantation and research. We are able to carry out our mission of saving and healing lives thanks to our partnership with 175 hospitals, doctors, nurses, more than 500 funeral homes and 44 coroners and medical examiners.

Donor Network West is proud to be a Donate Life organization and an accredited member of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). We are additionally members of Donate Life California and Donate Life Nevada.

Our Mission

Donor Network West save and heals lives through organ and tissue donation for transplantation. We honor and respect the donors and families we serve with compassionate care and inspire our communities to donate life.

Our Vision

Donor Network West’s vision is to be the premier community resource for organ and tissue donation in our service area of Northern California and Northern Nevada. We will provide excellent and compassionate support and service to the public and health care professionals who serve them in the hope that each person will choose to be an organ donor.

1984 – Congress passes the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA). The Act called for the establishment of a national organ matching system as well as the establishment of a network of private, federally mandated nonprofit organizations that would be tasked with the regional recovery and placement of donor organs.

Previously, 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 donation in hospitals on behalf of the transplant programs.

1986 – Northern California Transplant Bank (NCTB) is founded to coordinate donation in hospitals on behalf of the transplant programs.

1987 – 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 is appointed Executive Director of CTDN. In the first year, 15 employees are recruited whose functions were a combination of hospital education and donor management.

2007 – Phyllis Weber retires as Executive Director of California Transplant Donor Network after serving the organization for 20 years.

2008 (April) – Cynthia Siljestrom is appointed as Chief Executive Officer of CTDN.

2010 – CTDN transitions 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 makes 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 is able to increase donation rates while making the process easier for hospitals and donor families.

2011 (July) – CTDN establishes an Operations Center in San Leandro, California.

2012 (May) – CTDN opens a Nevada headquarters office in Reno.

2014 (October) – CTDN formally launches 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) – California Transplant Donor Network changes 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 consolidates its Oakland and San Leandro offices into its new headquarters in San Ramon, California.

2015 (December) – Donor Network Wests relocates its Fresno office.

2016 – Donor Network West begins 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) – Donor Network West’s Clinical Center opens in San Ramon.

2018 (May) – Donor Network West’s Chief Executive Officer, Cindy Siljestrom, retires. Sean Van Slyck is named Interim CEO.

2019 – Donor Network West welcomes Janice F. Whaley as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Saving and Healing Lives Every Day

Norris Canyon Clinical Center

Organ Recovery Suite at San Ramon Regional Medical Center

Designated Service Area

donor network west territory map