Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital

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The Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital is a retirement community, with individual cottages, and a fully licensed, acute-care hospital, located at 23388 Mulholland Drive in Woodland Hills, California. It is a service of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, providing services for members of the motion picture and television industry.

History[edit]

In 1940, then president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, Jean Hersholt, found 48 acres (19 ha) of walnut and orange groves in the southwest end of the San Fernando Valley that was selling for US$850 an acre ($0.21/m²) ($40,800). The Board purchased the property for the Motion Picture Country House. To offset the costs for the first buildings, which were designed by architect William Pereira, 7 acres (2.8 ha) were sold. Mary Pickford and Jean Hersholt broke the first ground. The dedication was on September 27, 1942.

The Motion Picture Hospital was dedicated on the grounds of the Country House in 1948. In attendance were Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, and Robert Young, among other stars. Services were later extended to those working in the television industry as well, and the name was altered to reflect the change.

Scores of movie notables spent their last years here; so have far less famous people from behind the scenes of the industry. Those with money paid their own way, while others, who had no money, paid nothing. Fees are based solely on the "ability to pay."

Individuals in movies, TV, and other aspects of the industry, are accepted, from actors, artists, backlot men, cameramen, directors, extras, producers, security guards and stars. To qualify for a cottage, applicants (or their spouses) must have reached a minimum age of seventy, working steadily for at least twenty years in entertainment industry production. The waiting time is usually a few months, with no preference given to celebrities or those who can pay their own way, officials of the fund have said.[citation needed]

The facility has an annual budget of $120 million.[1]

In 1993, the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation was established with Jeffrey Katzenberg as Founding Chairman. The Foundation continues to exist as the conduit to marshal the vision of its donors and their philanthropy to the growing human needs of the entertainment community it serves. MPTF Foundation puts on annual events that help raise millions of dollars in funds to continue to assist those entertainment industry members in need. These events include Michael Douglas and Friends Golf Tournament, The Night Before and The Evening Before.

In 1998, the Woodland Hills campus was renamed The Wasserman Campus of the Motion Picture & Television Fund in honor of the long-time commitment and support of Mr. & Mrs. Lew Wasserman.

In February 2000, William Haug resigned as MPTF CEO. The position was filled by Dr. David Tillman on May 16, 2000.[2] who was one of the highest paid CEOs of a health care center, with a current annual salary which includes perks and bonuses of approximately $750,000.

In 2006, the groundbreaking for the Saban Center for Health and Wellness featuring the Jodie Foster Aquatic Pavilion was held on The Wasserman Campus. The center was named after donors Haim Saban and his wife Dr. Cheryl Saban.[3] It opened its doors on July 18, 2007 and features aquatic and land-based therapies as well as MPTF’s Center on Aging.

Besides offering temporary financial assistance and operating the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, MPTF's services operate six outpatient health centers throughout the greater Los Angeles area as well as the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation Children’s Center.

In October 2008, MPTF's Corporate Board of Directors voted unanimously to close its acute-care hospital and long-term care facility by October 2009. In December 2008 the MPTF Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support the October decision of the Corporate Board. This vote was done without the knowledge of residents or families that would have been affected by the closure. As late as November 2008, after the October 2008 vote to close the acute-care hospital and long-term care facility, residents were admitted to the Long Term Care center under the impression that they would be there 'for the rest of their lives', only to learn a few months later that the LTC unit would be closing.[citation needed]

Announced closure[edit]

On January 14, 2009, residents and families of the long term care unit (LTCU) were notified by mail of the closure and imminent re-location of elderly and handicapped residents under the care of the MPTF. In a meeting held by former CEO Dr. David Tillman with concerned family members, it was revealed that the LTCU and Acute Care Center would be closing. The meeting became extremely contentious as it became known that the reasons for closure had been simmering for five years without the knowledge of residents who had been admitted to the facility under the false promise of having a 'home for the rest of their lives'. The main reason given to the families was that the LTCU was losing $10 million per year, and that this would ultimately bankrupt the fund. It was noted by actors John Schneider and David Carradine, who attended the meeting in support of the families, that the MPTF was indeed not living up to their credo of "taking care of their own" and had failed to notify the families and the entertainment industry of the closures in a proper, humane way.

At the time of the announcement, 138 individuals were receiving long term care at the facility. Jeffrey Katzenberg, current chairman of the MPTF Foundation Board, said the fund realized they had no choice but to close the facility, stating "the acute-care hospital and long-term-care facility are generating operating deficits that could bankrupt MPTF in a very few years."[1]

There were over 500 hospital admissions and approximately 100 long-term residents alone in 2008. The fund administrators projected their shortfall would only grow as a result of the deteriorating economy.[1]

Primary sources of funding for long term care and the hospital are Medicare and Medi-Cal. The facility claims it receives approximately $20 million a year in reimbursements, though operating costs were $30 million a year.[1] The MPTF receives approximately $10,500 per patient, per month from Medi-Cal. The California Healthcare Foundation found that the MPTF receives 80% of its patient funding from Medi-Cal.[4][5]

Soon thereafter, a grass-roots organization Saving the Lives of Our Own (STLOOO) was created to organize residents, family members, and supporters to fight the closure of the LTCU. A Facebook group was generated that quickly became 3500+ strong, to also support those residents and families who were facing eviction by the MPTF. Soon thereafter, the law firm of Girardi + Keese came aboard to represent residents and family members who held a guardian ad litum for their elderly family members.

In the ensuing months, the MPTF had to deal with a barrage of claims that revealed inaccuracies in claims of the fund's alleged financial peril, and the absence of any exposure of the elderly residents to transfer trauma. According to a STLOOO member, the daughter-in-law of one resident reached out to him over the Internet stating that her mother had refused to eat on the second day in her new residence. Two weeks later the woman had died following complications due to pneumonia. Claims of bullying by social service workers and more deaths that could be attributed to transfer trauma were reported to family members by other family members. Additionally, in an act that could allege intentional infliction of emotional distress, the MPTF placed a fake studio prop cop car that was painted to resemble an Los Angeles Police Department cruiser in the parking lot that had an intimidating effect on the elderly residents who knew they were facing 'eviction' from the property. Again,[6] Ken Scherer in an interview was quoted as saying the idea of the prop police car was 'wrong', his admission surprising families.

Articles published in the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News and online by The Wrap.com and Nikki Finke's Hollywood Daily continually hammered the Motion Picture and Television Fund with new found facts, reporting of resident deaths, and other facts that flew in the face of what the MPTF was claiming.

The Screen Actors Guild and The Teamsters' local chapter came to the aid of the residents of the LTCU by decrying the closure and standing with the residents and families at several rallies held in the Los Angeles area.

In October 2009, when it was originally set to close down the LTCU, the MPTF renewed their operating license of the LTCU and Acute Care Unit for another year.

CEO David Tillman has since resigned, and in his stead the MPTF board has seated Bob Beitcher, former ousted CEO of Panavision.

Famous residents[edit]

* denotes died while resident at hospital

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j By Lisa Girion and Richard Verrier: Girion, Lisa; Verrier, Richard (2009-01-15). "Movie industry hospital and nursing home to close". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  2. ^ [1] LATimes
  3. ^ [2] MPTF pdf
  4. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (2009-02-08). "Part I: MPTF residents despondent; six have died since closure announced". The Wrap. Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  5. ^ http://www.calqualitycare.org
  6. ^ [3]
  7. ^ "Monta Bell Dies. Ex-Film Director. Sound Movies. Was 66. Newsman and Actor". New York Times. February 5, 1958. Retrieved 2010-03-09. "Monta Bell, former film writer, director and producer, died today at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital. He would have been 67 years old ..." 
  8. ^ http://www.playbill.com/news/article/153051-Helen-Beverley-Yiddish-Theatre-Actress-Dies-at-94
  9. ^ Barnes, Mike (April 29, 2011). "'Star Trek' Favorite William Campbell Dies at 84". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  10. ^ "Brian Donlevy Dies Of Cancer". Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine). AP. April 7, 1972. p. 5. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  11. ^ Franklyn Farnum, Actor, Dies; New York Times; July 6, 1961; p. 29
  12. ^ http://www.newser.com/article/d9o6c2m81/edith-fellows-child-actress-of-1930s-who-was-subject-of-famous-custody-case-dies-at-88.html
  13. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (2012-06-17). "Lillian Gallo, pioneering TV movie producer, dies at 84". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  14. ^ "Hoot Gibson, Film Cowboy, Dies. Made His First Movie in 1915; Broke Into Motion Pictures as a Stunt Man. Last Role Was in 'Horse Soldiers'". New York Times. August 24, 1962. Retrieved 2010-03-09. "Hoot Gibson, one of Hollywood's most famous cowboy stars, died early this morning of cancer at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital, in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 70 years old." 
  15. ^ "Del Henderson, 79, Former Film Actor". New York Times. December 5, 1956. Retrieved 2010-03-09. "Del Henderson, early motion-picture actor and director, died Sunday at the Motion Picture Country House after a heart attack, ..." 
  16. ^ Edgar Kennedy, 58, Comedian in Films; New York Times; November 10, 1948
  17. ^ James Kirkwood, Actor, Dead at 80; New York Times; August 25, 1963
  18. ^ Wilson, Eric (June 8, 2012). "Nolan Miller, Designer of ‘Dynasty' Looks, Dies at 79". The New York Times. 
  19. ^ "Philip Saltzman, Producer of 'Barnaby Jones'". Los Angeles Times. 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  20. ^ Truly Shattuck - The New York Times – December 10, 1954 p. 27
  21. ^ "Ronald Sinclair; Child Actor, Film Editor". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1992. 
  22. ^ Gerald Oliver Smith on findagrave.com
  23. ^ Marguerite Snow; New York Times; February 18, 1958; p. 27

External links[edit]