Healthcare Partners


Currently SDS has agreements with more than 50 hospitals in Sacramento, 10 surrounding counties, Inland Northern California and Northern Nevada.

When a potential donor is identified by one of those hospitals, SDS is notified. A SDS Transplant Coordinator, in conjunction with a trained social services worker (Family Care Coordinator) immediately begins work to facilitate the donation process and assesses the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to establish if the potential donor has signed up to be an organ/tissue donor. If the potential donor is on the registry, the family is notified and the donation process proceeds. If the potential donor has not signed up on the registry the Family Care Coordinator supports the donor family and consults them regarding possible donation.

SDS then evaluates the medical suitability of the donor, manages the medical care of the donor until transplantation can take place, and taps into a national database to identify patients in need of transplants. Finally, SDS manages the transport of organs to the surgeons who will perform the transplants into waiting recipients.

Medical Examiners/Coroners

Currently SDS works collaboratively with Sacramento and  13 surrounding counties, and Northern Nevada Coroner and Medical Examiner offices.

The Coroner and Medical Examiner play an important role in the organ and tissue donation process. Since all unexpected deaths require Coroner or Medical Examiner review, their cooperation and support is vital for ensuring successful organ and tissue
donations, benefiting thousands of transplant recipients each year.

SDS collaborates with Medical Examiners and Coroners in the referral and evaluation of potential organ and tissue donors to broaden the donation options for donor families, while preserving evidence for death investigations to determine the cause and manner of death.

SDS has a Coroner Liaison to work closely and serve as a dedicated resource regarding donation with Coroners and Medical Examiners.   After SDS staff determines Organ and Tissue recovery will take place, the Coroner is notified and clearance is obtained for transplantation to occur.

The Coroner and Medical Examiners play a significant role in helping both grieving donor families and transplant patients in need of lifesaving, life-enhancing tissue grafts by notifying SDS organization of any deaths that do not occur in a hospital. This is a great service to those in need of transplants and to surviving families and friends who choose donation.

Funeral Homes

SDS works with funeral homes to assure that the family’s wish to donate and their desire for a meaningful funeral can be fulfilled.  SDS has a staff position dedicated to specifically assisting funeral homes in meeting the needs of donor families.  SDS staff is also an on-call resource for forensic professionals during donation cases.

SDS is available to provide education to funeral homes about organ and tissue donation, and to assist on a case-by-case basis. Funeral Home Directors may contact our Support Staff (Christopher Donhost) for additional information about our services.