Our History

The Birth of the Mid-South Transplant Foundation

The preparation for organ procurement and transplantation in Memphis began in 1968.  To assure that the necessary groundwork was laid; the Histocompatibility (tissue typing) Laboratory was set up in the fall of that year.

On April 9, 1970, the first kidney transplant was performed.  The recipient was a 39 year-old African American gentleman by the name of LeRoy Hobson.  The first year of local transplantation saw four individuals receiving kidney transplants. Funding was a major obstacle because the procedure was still considered experimental by insurance companies.

In July 1972, Medicare began covering dialysis and transplant costs.  This allowed many individuals not able to afford a transplant previously to be worked up and placed on a waiting list.

Incorporated in 1976, Mid-South Transplant Foundation is a private, non-profit organ procurement organization recognized by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and certified by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.  MSTF has been instrumental in the recovery of hundreds of organs and is committed to helping meet the ever-increasing demand.

MSTF services hospitals in eleven (11) counties in Tennessee; six (6) counties in Arkansas; and, nineteen (19) counties in Mississippi. The population in this area is about 2 million people and MSTF consistently ranks in the top one-third of the fifty-eight (58) active Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO’s) nationwide.  (See map)

The organization has worked diligently to establish close relationships with both the hospitals and the communities it serves.  Through public and professional education, MSTF promotes awareness of donation throughout the Mid-South.

History of Transplantation Timeline

Mouse over timeline and click the arrows.