Daryl Knight, Kidney Recipient

­­­­Our History

Dr. Keith Johnson

Dr. Keith Johnson

DCI Donor Services is a federally designated organ procurement organization serving Tennessee, New Mexico, Northern California, and Northern Nevada. DCIDS provides service to recover, preserve, and transport the selfless gifts of organs and tissues.

Like many innovative organizations, DCI owes its origins to providing a solution for unmet needs. As Dialysis Clinic, Inc., DCI was first conceived in 1971 to provide affordable dialysis service to the increased number of patients suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

In the late 1960s, dialysis care was out of reach for most ESRD patients due to a lack of public funding and hospital beds allocated to renal care. Dr. Belding Scribner was the inventor of the arteriovenous shunt and the visionary physician responsible for establishing the first-ever outpatient dialysis clinic. His clinic, the Seattle Artificial Kidney Center at Seattle’s Swedish Hospital, was the first to use this shunt, which revolutionized dialysis.

It was Dr. Keith Johnson, then an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, who replicated the Seattle model in consultation with a group of nephrologists. He established the nonprofit Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) to serve the needs of ESRD patients in Tennessee, providing dialysis services in an outpatient setting. Today, DCI provides dialysis services at 207 clinics in 27 states across the United States.

Facilitating kidney and other organ and tissue donation was the logical next step in DCI’s evolution, providing for those in need of organ and tissue transplants. In 1972, under Dr. Johnson’s pioneering leadership, DCI established DCI Donor Services (DCIDS) as an independent nonprofit company to increase patient access to transplantation.

Today, the organizations that operate under DCI Donor Services include:



We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.