Annual Appeal Letter 2017

December 18, 2017

Dear Systems Family and Friends,

The staff and board of Systems Unlimited want to thank you for your assistance and support during 2017. Your contributions have truly made a positive impact on the individuals we serve! We also appreciate your advocacy for people with disabilities. Your communications with your state and federal legislators could not have been more important. The impact we make is always more meaningful when voices come together to express our shared concern(s) for our family members. Many of the people we serve are vulnerable and depend on all of us to advocate for their well-being. Thank you for your support!

Systems Unlimited has been active at the federal, state and local level seeking information regarding changes that Iowa is making in their services to people with disabilities. As you know, Iowa moved to the privatization of services in April of 2016. Three managed care companies contracted with Iowa to provide Medicaid coverage to the people in Iowa. Some elected officials have pushed for changes—and made and implemented decisions—that have and will negatively impact services for those served by SUI. The latest change, a tiered rate payment system based on Support Intensity Scale (SIS) scores, goes into effect on December 1, 2017. This change will greatly lower the rates that the agency receives for providing services.

Systems Unlimited began offering services in 1971 based on the vision of the parents and family members who came together to provide community programs for their loved ones with disabilities. We are coming to you today knowing that 2018 may be our most challenging year yet. Systems Unlimited and the people we serve have been dealing with significant uncertainty and confusion regarding MCO coverage and funding. As we review our budget for 2018, we must do our best to reduce our expenses—while maintaining the quality of services provided. However, we cannot meet the needs of your loved ones without asking you for help. Just as our forefathers and foremothers did many years ago, we need to come together to face the challenges in front of us.

You can assist us to continue providing the highest quality of services by considering one or more of the following:
• Making a one-time general donation to the agency. You will find an envelope and return card enclosed. Please indicate if you want your donation to go towards a specific project.
• A regular donation can be can be deducted from a debit or credit card. This can be set up with our Director of Finance, Michelle Lloyd, at, or by visiting the “How You Can Help” page on our website:
• Donating to the Systems Unlimited endowment fund through the Johnson County Foundation Fund or the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Fund.
• Volunteering for SUI fundraising events.
• Volunteering for services to individuals served by Systems Unlimited, which might include transportation.
• Advocating for issues that impact people with disabilities and mental health needs. Contact your state and federal legislators and share the story of your loved one; let them know how their decisions affect the life of your loved one.
• Checking the Systems Unlimited website for current information about state and federal issues involving the people we serve—then voice your concerns to your government officials.


Casey Westhoff
Executive Director