Our History | Iowa Donor Network

Our History

The evo­lu­tion of Iowa Donor Net­work (IDN) began long before its orig­i­nal 1994 incor­po­ra­tion date. In 1970, on the heels of a suc­cess­ful kid­ney trans­plant in Iowa City, a pro­gram for trans­plan­ta­tion, organ pro­cure­ment and preser­va­tion was estab­lished in the state.

By the late 1970s, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Iowa Hos­pi­tals and Clin­ics (UIHC) had a nation­al­ly rec­og­nized trans­plant pro­gram, com­plete with a Trans­plant Coor­di­na­tor. This pro­fes­sion­al facil­i­tat­ed the trans­plant and organ pro­cure­ment process, con­duct­ed pro­fes­sion­al and pub­lic edu­ca­tion, and man­aged post-trans­plant care of recip­i­ents. Soon it became clear than a for­mal Organ Pro­cure­ment Orga­ni­za­tion (OPO) was need­ed. This led to the for­ma­tion of the Iowa Statewide Organ Pro­cure­ment Orga­ni­za­tion (ISOPO), man­aged by UIHC.

In 1993, the ISOPO sep­a­rat­ed from UIHC and estab­lished offices in Iowa City and Des Moines. Its role remained as an advo­cate and facil­i­ta­tor of dona­tion, but it placed greater empha­sis on edu­ca­tion and hos­pi­tal development.

The ISOPO con­tin­ued to expand its staff and the scope of its activ­i­ties. By the mid-90s, the orga­ni­za­tion became what it is today, Iowa Donor Net­work. Both pro­cure­ment and hos­pi­tal devel­op­ment pro­ce­dures con­tin­ued to be refined and for­mal­ized. At the cen­ter of this net­work” are the donors and their fam­i­lies, whose gen­eros­i­ty and courage make dona­tion happen.

In 2019, Iowa Donor Net­work marked its 25th anniver­sary and cel­e­brat­ed the rich his­to­ry that estab­lished its firm foun­da­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion con­tin­ues to have a pos­i­tive impact on the com­mu­ni­ties it serves by facil­i­tat­ing the Gift of Life for those in need.

Our Vision:

All are inspired to donate life.