The New York Times
February 23, 2012
by Brookes Barnes

LOS ANGELES — “If you think the Sudan is tough, try the motion picture fund,” George Clooney, putting on his philanthropist hat, said here Thursday morning at an event for the nonprofit Motion Picture and Television Fund.

He was joking, but only to a point.

The M.P.T.F. has endured a brutal three years after a controversial decision to close part of its Motion Picture Home, a facility for elderly and ailing movie and TV workers. The charity said escalating health care costs gave it little choice — the facility was losing millions of dollars — but the move created howls of protest, a barrage of negative blog headlines and legal action.

All that is ancient history, Mr. Clooney and the fund’s chairman, Jeffrey Katzenberg, told the crowd that turned up at Thursday’s Polo Lounge breakfast. The men announced the creation of a $350 million fund-raising campaign that would, in Mr. Katzenberg’s words, sustain the charity “for the foreseeable future.”

[ + ]  read the complete article in The New York Times Media Decoder


Breakfast With George Clooney

Bob Beitcher


The Jewish Journal
February 23, 2012
by Danielle Berrin

Days before their annual Oscar fundraiser, “The Night Before” party, The Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) trotted out board chair Jeffrey Katzenberg and newest board member George Clooney for an intimate media breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Private Polo, a brightly lit dining room just a lush, bungalow-specked pathway from the famous Polo Lounge. A handful of MPTF’s board members and a few select members of the media assembled for smoked salmon sandwiches and cheesy scrambled eggs to hear some news: the organization has raised $238 million out of an intended 3-year, $350 million capital campaign aimed at sustaining MPTF’s provision of healthcare services into the “foreseeable future.”

It was a bright moment for the fund, a 90-year-old organization that today claims to provide healthcare options to more than 75,000 members of the entertainment industry, but which in recent years has struggled to uphold its virtuous image after a public debacle over the fate of its long term care facilities threatened its good name. After a long, drawn-out battle between fund leadership and the long term care residents and their families, the fund announced last month it would keep long term care open for good.

[ + ]  read The Jewish Journal article here


Clooney and Katzenberg Kick Off $350 Million Fundraising Campaign for MPTF


The Hollywood Reporter
by Pamela McClintock

February 23, 2012

The duo announces that $238 million has already been raised from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Steve Bing, Fox Entertainment Group and J.J. Abrams, along with their own contributions.

The Motion Picture & Television Fund is launching a three-year $350 million fundraising campaign--with $238 million already committed by Hollywood heavyweights.

"It's been a really long two years for us, and today marks a real transformational moment," Katzenberg said. "Given the challenges we've faced, this is a real miracle."
Katzenberg and MPTF CEO Bob Beitcher said the money raised will guarantee a future for the charity as more and more baby boomers age (Clooney, who was born at the tail end of the baby boomer generation, smiled).
Taking the podium, Clooney recalled that when he first joined the board, Katzenberg warned, "'you think the Sudan is difficult, try the MPTF.'"
Clooney said Jeffrey and his wife Marilyn made the first commitment.


MPTF Unveils New $350M Fundraising Campaign

Deadline Hollywood
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2012
by The Deadline Team

Motion Picture Television Fund board member George Clooney this morning announced the launch of a $350 million fundraising drive at the organization over the next three years. During a breakfast at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, MPTF brass said that $238 million has already been raised in the effort, with key contributions from the likes of Clooney, Steve Bing, Tom Cruise, Barry Diller, Fox Entertaiment Group, David Geffen, Michael Lewis, Jerry Perenchio, Joe Roth, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Todd Phillips, Patrick Soon-shiong, Thomas Tull and John Wells, among others. That’s in addition to the $100 million already on hand according to Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation. Over the past 20 years, the fund has raised $200 million. MPTF president Bob Beitcher said the fundraising push comes as an 75,000 baby boomers will be retiring from the industry over the next 20 years. “This is a safety net for them,” he said this morning. The fund’s biggest fundraising event of the year, the annual “Night Before” Oscar party, is set for Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

[ + ]  read the complete article in Deadline Hollywood here


Motion Picture Fund Nursing Home to Admit New Residents

Bob Beitcher


Los Angeles Times
January 25, 2012
by Richard Verrier

Three years after a controversial decision to close Hollywood's best known nursing home, the Motion Picture & Television Fund has reversed course and said it would immediately begin admitting new residents to the Woodland Hills facility.

The decision marks a victory for residents and their families who waged a highly public campaign to fight the fund's decision in January 2009. Many residents accused the charity of losing sight of its mission to take care of entertainment industry workers and refused to leave, hiring an attorney to block evictions.

At the time, the fund's board members said they had no choice because its facilities were losing millions of dollars and threatening the charity with bankruptcy. On Wednesday, however, MPTF officials said the nursing home's finances had improved under new management, enough at least to justify admitting residents.

The board tapped former Panavision Chief Executive Bob Beitcher this summer to replace David Tillman, who resigned as head of the fund in February 2010 after bitter clashes with residents over his handling of the planned closure.

"I would give Bob Beitcher and his management team really a lot of credit for coming in and getting our house back in order, which it needed,'' said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation and MPTF Chairman. "The results of it are that we can very comfortably expand our capacity."

[ + ]  read the complete article here

Girardi | Keese: Lawyers Dedicated to Helping MPTF Residents In All Levels of Care

Girardi Keese

Our Mission Statement
Please Join Us

Our mission is to keep the Motion Picture Nursing Home open for current and future residents, the elderly and infirm in our Industry who are in need of a home -  a safe, secure, and caring environment amongst their peers.

Saving the Lives of Our Own is a grass-roots coalition of thousands of entertainment industry workers and community members dedicated to preventing the closure of the MPTF's long term care facility, restoring skilled nursing as part of the continuum of care on campus, and insuring that the MPTF promise of "Taking Care of Our Own" remains unbroken - now and for future generations.

[ + ]  join us here

No Comfort for Old Men

In a town that worships youth, the Motion Picture Home was a refuge for industry elders, until its future was put in peril. David Margolick reports on the grassroots battle to save it.

Vanity Fair
by David Margolick
February 25, 2011

On February 23, 2011, the chief of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Robert Beitcher, stood behind the podium at the Saban Center for Health and Wellnesson the Fund’s campus, 25 miles down the Ventura Freeway from the heart of Hollywood. The press release from which he read was already on the blogs, but his audience, mostly born long before Gone with the Wind, or even Wings, had won Oscars, didn’t live online, and waited expectantly. He had great news, he told them: reversing its decision of two years earlier, the Fund would not be closing its nursing home after all. In conjunction with a private company, long-term-care would continue.

If there were Oscars for Best Recovery from a Public Relations Debacle, or Best Suture to Stanch a Financial Hemorrhage, or Best Timing in the Making of an Announcement, the Motion Picture & Televesion Fund would have racked up nominations this year as prodigiously as The King’s Speech or True Grit. Four days before the Academy Awards the Fund had simultaneously defused an issue that had brought it enormous embarrassment and fobbed off a money-losing operation. In fact, by partnering with Providence Health & Services and U.C.L.A. Health System, it was offering industry alumni and their families a set of new services. It was more than anyone had thought possible, Beitcher said.

Beitcher singled out Fund officials standing nearby who, he said, were principally responsible for salvaging the nursing home. But he left out a few things, like their role in condemning the place to begin with, and the fiasco that ensued. More significantly, he omitted the extraordinary coalition of relatives, unknowns, B-list actors, and below-the-line types, several of whom were also in attendance, who’d mobilized to reverse the decision. The leader of this group, Nancy Biederman, was characteristic of its constituants: her Hollywood roots ran deep—her screenwriter parents wrote for My Favorite Martian and All in the Family, among many other shows. Biederman put it best: it was a great win, but there is still plenty left to do. Armed with videos, blogs, the strength of the Internet, and the power of shame, they had taken on, and bested, some of Hollywood’s most powerful figures, people very much unaccustomed to backing down. This night was their victory, too, though you might not have known it. For mixed in with the euphoria were bitterness and disappointment. However you viewed it, the Fund was cutting back on its historic commitment to “taking care of its own.”

[ + ]  see the article here


Thanks for Helping Us Help Them

A heartfelt thanks to all who helped to defray some of Saving the Lives of Our Own's out-of-pocket expenses with non-deductible contributions.To the thousands who signed our petition, thank you. Your message has been delivered.




Motion Picture & Television Fund Launches Fundraising Campaign

Los Angeles Times
February 23, 2012
by Richard Verrier

The Motion Picture and Television Fund has launched a Hollywood fundraising campaign to generate $350 million in support for the charity and its nursing home that was once slated to close.

On Thursday, the fund announced that DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg had already helped secure more than $200 million in pledges and donations that include his own contribution and those from Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Steve Bing, Casey Wasserman and George Clooney.

Katzenberg and Clooney are spearheading the campaign efforts. "I am proud to be part of the MPTF legacy of taking care of our own,'' said Katzenberg at a media breakfast held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. "This campaign is the way my generation can ensure that the MPTF will be there to serve future generations forever."

Clooney said he had been a strong supporter of the fund's work. "I was raised to believe that as a community we should be judged by how we take care of people who can't take care of themselves."

[ + ]  read the Los Angeles Times aritcle here


MPTF Teams with UCLA for Geriatric Unit

February 14, 2012
by Dave McNary

The Motion Picture and Television Fund is launching a geriatric psychiatric unit on its Woodland Hills campus in a partnership with UCLA Health System and its Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital.

The MPTF-UCLA unit, announced Tuesday, will provide inpatient and outpatient services to persons 55 years and older with emotional or behavioral disorders. The unit will accommodate up to 12 patients and is expected to be fully operational by early 2013.

The announcement of the new unit comes three weeks after the MPTF disclosed that it would begin admitting new patients for the first time in three years, going from 29 patients to as many as 40.

"This historic linkage with the UCLA Health System is another key piece in the larger strategy we have developed for our organization," said Bob Beitcher, CEO of MPTF. "Among our many goals, we are focused on building a health care campus capable of delivering a broad set of services to our industry members and, selectively, to the San Fernando Valley community."

[ + ]  read the complete article in Variety here

[ + ]  read the official MPTF Press Release here


MPTF's Long-Term Care Unit Taking New Patients

by Dave McNary
January 25, 2012

Three years after announcing it would close its long-term care unit, the Motion Picture and Television Fund facility will begin admitting new patients.

The MPTF made the announcement Wednesday morning, saying that it will immediately begin adding patients to the long-term care unit in Woodland Hills. First priority will be given to former MPTF long-term care residents who were relocated offsite in the wake of the proposed closure of the unit in 2009.

There are currently 29 patients at the facility, and that number will go up to 40 -- a far smaller number than the 136 housed in long-term care in early 2009, when the MPTF announced that it faced a cost crunch that would force it to shutter the long-term care unit and the acute-care hospital.

Still, it's a marked change for the MPTF, which has faced a barrage of criticism over the past three years from those questioning whether it has been fulfilling its stated mission of "taking care of our own."

"I think a lot of people have been waiting for this," said Bob Beitcher, president and CEO of the MPTF. "This will be a pivotal moment for current long-term care residents and their families, other campus residents and staff. It will restore the continuum of care on campus everyone has been hoping for."

[ + ]  read the complete article here


MPTF Bows to Pressure, Will Begin Admitting New Patients to Long-Term Care Unit

The Wrap
by Brent Lang
January 25, 2012

In a victory for the grassroots group Saving the Lives of Our Own, the Motion Picture and Television Fund will immediately begin admitting people to the long-term care unit on its Wasserman campus in Woodland Hills, the organization said on Wednesday.

The group has been agitating for three years for the facility to keep its doors open, as well as offer space to new patients.

Facing fierce public pressure from campus residents, patients and their families, the MPTF abandoned its closures plans last year.

"I'm absolutely overjoyed with this news," Melody Sherwood, whose mother is a resident of the unit, told TheWrap.

"This whole thing proves that a small group of people can make a big difference. It is just wonderful for the current residents, because admitting new blood will bring life back into the unit, but it is also a magnificent day for Hollywood."

[ + ]  read the complete article here


Motion Picture & Television Fund's Long-Term Care Unit Won't Shut Down


Daily News Los Angeles
January 25, 2012
by Susan Abram

WOODLAND HILLS - In what is being called a real-life Hollywood happy ending, the Motion Picture & Television Fund announced Wednesday it will be able to save its long-term care unit from closure and open to new residents as well as those who were moved out in 2009.

The news was received with applause from some relatives of patients at the home who fought to keep the long-term care unit from shuttering. After years of demonstrations outside the facility, fingerpointing and even threats of lawsuits, some of those same relatives on Wednesday credited the MPTF board for re-examining its decision.

"I think it's a real game-changer for us today," said Bob Beitcher, president and CEO of MPTF. "I think it says a lot to the industry of our commitment to our mission. There were a lot of people wondering what was going on with the MPTF, and I think this is a good time for them to get off the sideline and support us as volunteers, and as donors."

The landmark nursing home and hospital in Woodland Hills that has served Hollywood stars, camera operators, set designers and others for decades was set to be closed after board members announced in 2009 an anticipated $10 million-a-year shortfall. Services had been gradually reduced and patients were transferred to other facilities.

[ + ]  read the complete article here