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Donor Network West Celebrates 35 Years of Saving and Healing Lives

Northern California and Northern Nevada Non-Profit Organ Procurement Organization Facilitated the Recovery of Organs for More Than 37,000 Transplants Since 1987

SAN RAMON, CA (September 22, 2022) – Donor Network West, the federally designated non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for northern California and northern Nevada, is celebrating 35 years of saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation for transplantation and research. Since its founding in 1987, Donor Network West (formerly California Transplant Donor Network – CTDN) has facilitated the recovery of organs for more than 37,000 transplants, the fourth highest contributing individual organ procurement organization in the United States. In celebration of this significant milestone, Donor Network West is hosting the Legacy Ball benefit, a special evening on Saturday, September 24 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, to raise awareness and critical funding to support community outreach and education efforts to inspire more people to register to become organ donors.

“I am so proud to be a part of an organization that saves and heals lives every day and I want to thank all the donors and their families for giving the greatest gift – the gift of life,” said Janice Whaley, President and CEO of Donor Network West. “The lifesaving work we do every day for the past 35 years would not have been possible without the tireless commitment, passion and hard work of our employees past and present. I also recognize that the organ donation process is supported by numerous partners, including our hospitals, doctors, nurses, funeral homes, coroners, medical examiners, and various other healthcare professionals whom we are honored to work alongside. I applaud everyone who has been a part of the lifesaving work of Donor Network West and look forward to continuing to partner with each of you as we work to save and heal more lives for years to come.”

While there have been significant medical advancements in the field of organ and tissue donation for transplantation, there is still a critical need for more organ donors. There are currently more than 100,000 people waiting for an organ in the United States, 20,000 whom live in California and 600 in Nevada. Of those people waiting, nearly 60 percent are from multiethnic communities. Due to the lack of available organs, approximately 20 people die every day waiting for an organ that never becomes available.

Donor Network West was founded in 1987 and led by Phyllis Weber, the first CEO, along with 15 employees imbued with a life-saving passion and charged with ensuring a better quality of life for the thousands of patients with end stage organ failure. Phyllis also had a fearless commitment to improving health outcomes in minority communities, a commitment that has been a part of Donor Network West’s DNA.

Since its founding, Donor Network West has grown to become a leading and one of the largest organ procurement organizations in the United States with more than 300 employees, serving more than 13 million people across northern California and northern Nevada. Each year, Donor Network West strives to save more lives and reach more people about the life-saving reality of organ, eye and tissue donation. The organization’s success would not be possible without the generosity of donors and donor families, all of whom have helped create legacies from their loved one’s gift of life to those who wait. Donor Network West reflects their respect for these donors and their families in its daily work to serve its communities.

Led by Janice Whaley, President and CEO of Donor Network West, over the past four years, Donor Network West has achieved significant successes in fulfilling its mission. In 2019, Donor Network West achieved and held the largest numerical increase in the nation with an additional 92 organ donors. Continuing that drive, that one year increase has grown to an additional 100 donors, averaged over the past four years. This sustained life-saving donor increase has been made possible by the organization’s commitment to every patient who is waiting for a second chance at life by increasing community outreach in service to donation awareness, as well as, employing technological advancements throughout its clinical operations. As just one example of its many ‘firsts’,  in 2020, Donor Network West recovered a non-beating donor heart for the first-ever successful transplantation on the West Coast, a new investigational procedure that could increase organ donation by up to 30 percent.

To learn more about Donor Network West and to register as an organ donor, visit

September 21, 2022