WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. (February 23, 2011) – The Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) announced today it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Providence Health & Services California with plans to broaden and expand healthcare services to the entertainment industry and the community on its storied Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills. The proposed relationship with Providence will enable MPTF to continue providing long-term care services on its campus, setting aside its closure announcement of early 2009.
MPTF’s primary care network of seven health centers in Southern California, serving 60,000 entertainment industry workers annually, will not be impacted by the MPTF-Providence arrangement. For the 180 independent and assisted living residents on The Wasserman Campus, the Providence relationship breathes new life into the health services they may require as they age under MPTF care. MPTF will continue its broad social services programs, including financial grants of charitable assistance for industry members in need, residential subsidies, Elder Connection, and the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation Children’s Center. UCLA Health System will also participate in the revitalization of the medical program, locating a new neurological rehabilitation unit at the MPTF.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Providence would sign a long-term master lease agreement for the MPTF hospital facilities. State licenses for the 250-bed hospital would be transferred to nearby Providence Tarzana Medical Center. The plan is subject to regulatory approval.
MPTF and Providence will continue to meet the needs of the entertainment community through industry-exclusive long-term care and dementia care units. Other services provided by Providence on the Woodland Hills campus, including skilled nursing, palliative care and other post-acute care units, will be available to the greater community.
“Over the last year, I have been working closely with my fellow board members and management to find a positive resolution to our long-term care and acute care issue. With this letter of intent, the framework is now in place to accomplish that. The new affiliation with Providence Health & Services will create a vibrant medical campus with services never before available to our industry members. It exceeds all expectations by providing continuity for our current long-term care residents and a continuum of care for our 180 campus residents in independent and assisted living, including long-term care and our dementia care unit Harry’s Haven,” said Bob Beitcher, chief executive officer of MPTF.
Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health & Services, parent organization of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and Providence Tarzana Medical Center, all in the San Fernando Valley, as well as Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in San Pedro and Torrance, was founded by the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary. Since coming to the Valley 70 years ago to build a hospital in Burbank, the nonprofit Catholic ministry has held close ties with the entertainment industry.
“Landmark studios in the Valley were instrumental in building our first hospital ministry here, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. and CBS Studios helped finance the initial construction and continue along with NBCUniversal to be among our greatest supporters,” said Michael Hunn, senior vice president and chief executive of Providence California. “The Mission of Providence and the Motion Picture and Television Fund are perfectly aligned. We are privileged to serve those in the entertainment industry, and we look forward to providing quality, safe and compassionate care.” Hunn said Providence also looks forward to the new relationship with UCLA Health System as a step toward a more collaborative approach to providing quality health care to all of Southern California by finding creative ways to pool resources.
“The opportunity to add a UCLA neurological rehab unit to the stunning MPTF hospital campus and expand our capacity in this area is exciting. UCLA has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the entertainment community, and we are proud to join MPTF and Providence in Woodland Hills,” said Dr. David Feinberg, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System.
MPTF and Providence hope to complete definitive agreements later this year, detailing each party’s roles and responsibilities. Any final agreement will be subject to Board and regulatory approvals. Details of the final agreement will be available at a later time.
“There are nothing but winners here, including our long-term care residents, our campus residents concerned about continuum of care, our employees, Providence Health & Services and UCLA Health System, the residents of the San Fernando Valley, and most importantly, a community of entertainment industry workers who will share in the pride of being part of an industry that fills the needs of its members in such an extraordinary fashion,” Beitcher said.
EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: I’ve learned that the MPTF deal is with Providence Health & Services, which will take over management of the acute care hospital to keep it open on campus and even expand the intensive care nursing services and other long-term offerings. “It couldn’t be a better scenario,” one of my insiders exults. Providence Health & Services of California describes itself as a Catholic, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing quality and compassionate health care and reaching out to the poor and the vulnerable in the communities it serves. Providence California operates five acute care medical centers in the Los Angeles area: Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Providence Tarzana Medical Center, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in Torrance and San Pedro. The region also operates programs and facilities including Providence Medical Institute, Hospice care, long-term care, outpatient clinics and a high school.
EXCLUSIVE 9 AM: I’ve just received word that there’s good news coming for the Motion Picture & Television Fund and those acute care patients who depend on its services. I’ll get you details as soon as I can, but for now I can report that essentially the MTPF is making a deal to keep the acute-care hospital open and even expand intensive care services. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this resolution comes on the eve of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation’s 9th Annual “Night Before” Pre-Oscar Fundraiser hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation Board, two years after he announced the closure of the MPTF’s acute care hospital and intensive care nursing facilities because they were losing $10 million a year. Nor that it follows a California Department Of Public Health inspection of the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s skilled nursing facility completed on June 4, 2010, citing the MPTF for rights violations and service failures. Nor that it follows the forced resignation of Dr. David Tillman, MPTF’s president and chief executive, and his replacement by the more responsible and conciliatory Bob Beitcher. Nor that it follows nearly two years of bad publicity for nearly everyone involved at the MPTF because of protests by the families of the acute care patients and grassroots activist groups like Saving The Lives Of Their Own to ensure that the entertainment industry’s promise of “Taking Care of Our Own” remains unbroken now and for future generations just as it did when it was founded back in 1921 by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith to help showbiz people who fell on hard times. Nor that it follows recent weak Hollywood Guild agreements with the studios and networks that will have the result of robbing more members of their middle class livelihoods and imperiling their health and pension benefits so that in the future even more stress will be put on MPTF infrastructure.
Back on November 24th, I reported that MPTF’s recently installed President/CEO Bob Beitcher was trying to effect a compromise and was told “odds are favoring a face-saving yet real solution for the LTC and a major capital campaign, over a continued war of attrition and negative PR”. So a dialogue has been ongoing between Beitcher, Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation CEO Ken Scherer, and MPTF bigwigs including Casey Wasserman, chairman of the Wasserman Foundation which is one of MPTF’s biggest benefactors (and whose namesake Wasserman campus in Woodlands Hills is the venue for the acute care hospital and intensive care nursing facilities), and even Jeffrey Katzenberg.
It was two years ago, that without any warning the shocking announcement was made that the MPTF’s acute care hospital and long term care nursing home were losing $10 million a year and that the shortfall was expected to widen significantly in coming years.