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 recov­ery 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. The trans­plant coor­di­na­tor facilitated the organ recov­ery and trans­plant process, conducted professional and public education, and managed post-transplant care of recipients. Soon it became clear a formal Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) was needed. This led to the formation of the Iowa Statewide Organ Procurement Organization (ISOPO), managed by UIHC. At the same time, Iowa Methodist Med­ical Cen­ter and Mer­cy Med­ical Cen­ter, both in Des Moines, and each with their own, in-house organ dona­tion depart­ments, decid­ed that it was best to com­bine efforts and pro­mote organ dona­tion as one unit­ed enti­ty.

In 1994, the three orga­ni­za­tions left their par­ent orga­ni­za­tions to become an inde­pen­dent enti­ty, ISOPO, with offices in Des Moines and Iowa City. Its role remained as an advocate and facilitator of donation, but it placed greater emphasis on edu­cat­ing the pub­lic as well as health­care pro­fes­sion­als about their role in the dona­tion process.

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. In 2000, Iowa Donor Net­work expand­ed beyond organ recov­ery to include tis­sue recov­ery ser­vices. Today we part­ner with more than 120 hos­pi­tals in Iowa, med­ical exam­in­ers, EMS providers, funer­al homes, trans­plant cen­ters, and the Iowa Lion’s Eye Bank to make dona­tion and trans­plan­ta­tion possible.

At the center of this network” are the donors and their families, whose generosity and courage make donation hap­pen. Iowa Donor Net­work con­tin­u­ous­ly evolves to embrace best prac­tices to save as many lives as pos­si­ble.  

Our Vision:

All are inspired to donate life.