Every innovative service or product owes its origin to an unmet need and the passion of a few committed individuals to address that need. Dialysis Clinic Inc. (DCI) was conceived and founded in 1971 to provide affordable dialysis service to the increasing number of patients suffering from end stage renal disease (ESRD) and needing dialysis for continued survival.
In the late sixties, dialysis care was out of reach for most ESRD patients because of the lack of public funding and hospitals allocating very few beds to renal care. Dr. Belding Scribner, the inventor of arteriovenous shunt which revolutionized dialysis, was also the visionary responsible for the establishment of the first outpatient dialysis clinic, the Seattle Artificial Kidney Center, at Seattle’s Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Keith Johnson, then an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University, in consultation with a group of nephrologists, spearheaded the replication of Seattle model to serve the needs of ESRD patients in Tennessee. Adhering to the advocacy of Dr. Scribner, Dr. Johnson established Dialysis Clinic, Inc.(DCI) as a nonprofit organization providing dialysis services in an outpatient setting. Today DCI (link to http://www.dciinc.org/) provides dialysis services at its 195 clinics in 26 states across the United States.
While dialysis is a maintenance treatment, kidney transplantation is the more enduring option to ESRD, greatly improving the quality of life for patients, while at the same time, providing a cost-saving alternative to ongoing dialysis. Facilitating kidney and other organ and tissue donation was the logical next step in the vertical integration of DCI as the comprehensive care provider for those in need of organ and tissue transplants. To accomplish this purpose, DCI established DCI Donor Services (DCIDS) as an independent nonprofit company. DCI Donor Services is a federally designated organ procurement organization serving Tennessee, New Mexico, and California. DCIDS provides round the clock service to recover, preserve, and transport the selfless gifts of organs and tissues. The organizations that operate under DCI Donor Services include: