Showbizreporting's Blog

January 14, 2011

Saving the Lives of Our Own Hospital

Dear Friends –

It was two years ago today that the letter announcing the closure of Motion Picture & Television Fund Long Term Care was sent to spouses and children of the elderly nursing home residents. The letter gave us roughly 60 days to move our family to other facilities. Upon inspection, many of these facilities did not come close to the level of care or cleanliness of what was the only viable care facility for those who paid into it over the years.

Our elders, who in most cases had no more money left to support their care in an upscale facility, were about to be cast to the wind.

We stood up, and made a difference. As you are well aware, the Long Term Care unit is still active, and the MPTF has voiced their commitment to continue Long Term Care in the future. We rallied here on facebook, in the streets, on the Internet, and in the hearts of the motion picture and television industry. While we were waiting for A-list actors to stand among us, we decided to be proactive, and in the end, we didn’t need them.

Our work however is not done. The fight that began as saving a nursing home has turned into a Motion Picture Home campus wide struggle to insure the continuum of care. The fight that began on behalf of 130+ of the most elderly and infirm residents turned into a wave of consciousness whose aim is to insure skilled nursing and long term care for generations to come. The fight that began in Woodland Hills, CA has raised issues of elder care worldwide. The motion picture industry is a template for the world when it comes to charitable outreach and diversity. Now it will be a shining example of how ‘we take care of our own’ in a modern world.

We don’t cave to temporary economic challenges by plucking the low-hanging fruit of the elderly to salve our concerns. We dig into our pockets and use our creativity to raise funds.

In this case, it wasn’t about money – it was about compassion. And you showed it, delivered with a resolve that left the MPTF board shaking.

The third year will be the charm. Please hang in there and become even more involved in this struggle. It’s not over, not by a long shot. We will take the momentum we have and continue to shine a light on this to the industry and to the world.

Please enlist your friends to join us. Tell your industry brothers and sisters about the plight of the elderly at the Motion Picture Home. Join us at www.savingthelivesofourown.org.

You have already saved some lives, let’s continue to save more – along with the future of motion picture and television healthcare.

Please see my blog at http://www.thewrap.com/media/blog-post/mptf-it-was-2-years-ago-today-23889

Best,

Richard

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July 6, 2010

Industry Wife and Mother Speaks Out

Subject: An Industry Wife and Mother Speaks Out
This message is from our own Pat Alexander – wife of DGA member Hal Alexander who is a resident at the Motion Picture Home’s Long Term Care unit. Please give this a read and then share your feelings in the comment section on The Wrap. There’s a link at the end. – Richard


Two years ago this September, shortly after our 57th anniversary, I admitted my husband Hal Alexander to the Motion Picture Home’s Long Term Care center.

Hal is a past member of AFTRA, SAG, Actor’s Equity, and to this day is a dues paying member in good standing of the DGA. Having been a volunteer at the Fund for 38 years, I knew that this was the only facility for my husband to convalesce and spend the rest of his days. After all, that was the assurance that I received when Hal was admitted.

No matter what your role in the entertainment industry, you were given star treatment if you were a resident. It was no different for my husband. Until lately.

It should be added that when Hal was admitted to the Fund, the wheels were already turning to close down the Long Term Care unit. It is shameful that this man who gave his life to the industry and fathered three upstanding industry professionals was misled and lied to. Now they want us to foster an environment in the home for care for those they want to wash their hands of.

I had tried to care for Hal in my home. Hal had fallen ill and needed 24-hour care. Care was not only costly, but hardly affordable at nearly $1,000 per week. The strangers that would come into my home to care for my husband created anxiety and mistrust. They were not of the caliber of Hal’s caregivers today.

Since the MPTF was the charity that was first in line when we had extra money to donate, they stepped up to the plate and relieved me and our children of the stress of trying to fulfill an impossible task in caring for Hal at home. Nothing was as impressive as the level of care that greeted my husband for a short time after he was admitted.

It’s all changed now.

The Fund is tearing the people in Long Term Care and their families to pieces. Stop this! Stop this!! Stop this!!! You may as well just put these tragic people in a crematorium and get rid of them quickly. Scatter their ashes in all of the sub-standard long term care facilities that you have pushed others in our industry to. Having done that, you would be free to do what you want with the Long Term Care and Acute Care units and you won’t be killing us, little by little, bit by bit.

It will be over quickly and we can go home and cry. As many of us who are able to pick up the pieces and carry on, we will never forget and never forgive you. More importantly, none of you will be able to forgive yourselves.

Personally, I’ll never forget the day when the handwriting was on the wall, and it was time for me to leave as a volunteer. Because I stood up for the promise that was made to my husband and the then nearly 130 other residents, I was told that I had to make a choice, that my services as a volunteer were no longer needed if I intended to fight for my husband and for long term care to stay open.

I’m not comfortable that people today who care for our beloved family members and friends cannot talk honestly and say what is in their heart without being censored and threatened. I will not let them negate my 38 years of volunteer service, nor my commitment to my husband, my immediate family, and my extended family -– those whose loved ones depend on the promise of “we take care of our own.”

Please comment:

http://www.facebook.com/l/13146PHFpsY7nZtw-uU84x0ynuA;www.thewrap.com/node/18908

February 3, 2010

SAVING THE LIVES OF OUR OWN HOSPITAL NEWS

DR. DAVID TILLMAN RESIGNS!!!

By Richard Stellar

Over a year ago the Hollywood machine that had Jeff Katzenberg at its helm tried to divert the course of motion picture and television healthcare. By choosing the most frail and handicapped to sacrifice at the altar of their misguided theology, their temple is toppling under the weight of public outrage. In the Biblical sense, this is not so much a David and Goliath story, as it is the embodiment of the words in Psalm 71:9 – “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.”

We have achieved our most significant victory in our fight to save the remaining residents from eviction and to return the ‘continuum of care’ that is embodied in the phrase ‘taking care of our own’.

Dr. David Tillman has resigned. This is major my friends. Take a victory lap. You’ve done well.

While we savor this event the following days will show exactly what this means. Dr. David Tillman has left the building. Unlike Elvis, it was not to a standing ovation or the tossing of lacey undies and sweaty towels onto a Las Vegas stage. Tillman left with a whimper, not a roar. I’m hoping that he left the lights on and the door ajar so that Seth Ellis can also find his way out, along with other individuals who have gleefully worked to end the reign of the Long Term Care Unit.

Our work is not done. Winning a battle doesn’t mean you’ve won the war. Please, get your friends to join us. Sign our petition.

If my mother could speak, she would thank every one of you. So would the other residents who are at risk now, and those who, thanks to you, will be able to enjoy these services during their final years.

Well done.

Best,

Richard

P.S. Sign the freaking petition already! Pretty please, with sugar on top!

http://www.facebook.com/l/71326;www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keeptheMPTFhomeopen

December 19, 2009

Saving the Lives of Own

Hi everyone –

It’s usually much easier to point a finger up as opposed to pointing a finger at an issue, a problem, or those responsible for the problem.

Now that we have kept the long term care facility open for the time being (the operating permit was renewed for another year), it is time to attack the root of the problem. Only in doing that will we be able to return the Motion Picture Home to its once world-class status as a care facility.

I am asking for the dismissal of CEO Dr. David Tillman and COO Seth Ellis. Beginning even before Dr. Tillman’s recommendation that the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit be abandoned, the dismantling of services as well as confidence in the fund would ultimately lead to where we are today – fighting for the future of motion picture and television healthcare.

Did Drs. Tillman and Ellis do this themselves? Of course not, but I feel that the agenda that they continue to pursue, characterized by some as ‘successful aging’, is the death knell to motion picture and television healthcare.

As it is, they have attempted to transition some residents of the long term care unit to Harry’s Haven. Harry’s is an incredible facility for the care and treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. The dilution of the purpose and core competency of Harry’s is what is now happening.

So what will be next?

I’ve written a blog at

http://www.thewrap.com/blog-entry/brighter-side-mptfs-transfer-trauma-12003

I would appreciate your comments and your voices in demanding that a regime change is needed at the Motion Picture Home.

Hope you have a great holiday. 2010 will be our year.

Best

Richard

November 14, 2009

Needing a Publicist

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 12:25 am
Tags: , , , ,

We are at a point in our campaign where we need the expert help of a publicist and security consultant. If you know any who can work with us on a number of projects pro bono, please contact me at richard@richardstellar.com.

We are self-funded at this point, and have not asked for donations. Anyone helping us will be compensated with love and the satisfaction that they have helped to save lives, and the future of motion picture and television healthcare.

I was at the Motion Picture Home yesterday and I am happy to report that the residents and caregivers were all smiles. You’ve buoyed their feelings with the renewed hope that we will be able to return the MPTF to the original standard of excellent world class care that it was before the current regime stepped in.

As you may know, the original date of closing was to be late October, 2009. Here it is almost mid-November and those who refuse to leave are still there. The MPTF was forced to renew their operating license.

They will now be forced to adhere to their motto of ‘taking care of our own’ for years and years to come. We’re not giving up, and we ask you to dig in for the battles yet to come.

Great job again! You guys rock!!

Richard

October 20, 2009

Petition: KEEP THE MPTF NURSING HOME OPEN!

Untitled

KEEP THE MPTF NURSING HOME OPEN!

Target:Motion Picture Television Fund Board of Directors.

Sponsored by: http://www.savingthelivesofourown.org.

We, the undersigned concerned citizens and members of the Entertainment Industry, strongly urge you to IMMEDIATELY REVERSE YOUR DECISION TO CLOSE THE LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY AT THE MOTION PICTURE TELEVISION HOME.

Many industry workers have contributed to the MPTF throughout their careers with the expectation that this all-important safety net would remain in place and it’s now 88-year-old mission of “Taking Care of Our Own” would continue as promised for our generation and those that follow.

We are also concerned about the adverse effects this threatened closure is having on the elderly residents of this nursing home and their families — including the INCREASED DEATH RATE of both residents and transferees.

Please, it’s not too late. for the sake of these elderly residents’ lives and those who will need this facility in the future, KEEP THE MPTF NURSING HOME OPEN!

copy of the petition

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keepthemptfhomeopen

June 2, 2009

SPECIAL EVENT FOR MOTION PICTURE AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY (Mar. 9, 2009)


If you are a member of the professional film and television industry, are members of the press, publicists, or families and loved ones of the residents of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Care Facility, we cordially invite you to a special event:

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD (SAG) SENIORS COMMITTEE
IN CONJUNCTION WITH
FAMILIES OF SAVING THE LIVES OF OUR OWN

INVITE YOU TO AN EVENING
OF AWARENESS AND SUPPORT
FOR THE RESIDENTS OF LONG TERM CARE
AND CAMPUS RESIDENTS OF THE MOTION PICTURE
and TELEVISION FUND
TO SCREEN AN IMPORTANT FILM

MAN IN THE CHAIR
A Michael Schroder Film
Starring CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

SUNDAY, MARCH 15
5:30 pm Celebrity Reception
Film starts at 6:30 pm.

FINE ARTS THEATRE
8556 WILSHIRE BLVD.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90211
(310) 360-0455

Please RSVP on facebook,
or contact Richard Stellar (richard@richardstellar.com) for your
invitation and one-click RSVP instructions.

or e-mail events@savingthelivesofourown.org

THIS IS A CRUCIAL EVENT OF AWARENESS AND INFORMATION REGARDING OUR ACTIONS TO KEEP THE ELDERLY AND INFIRM IN PLACE, WHERE THEY BELONG.

For more information:

http://www.savingthelivesofourown.org/screening_invite.html 

A FEW WORDS ON OUR CASE (MAR. 3, 2009)

Hi everyone

Our principals have been working diligently with Girardi – Keese. I’ve been authorized to give you the following message:

“To all concerned, we are working closely with the lawyers on a daily basis. Diligent efforts are underway to secure our goals.
It is important to get your paperwork to Girardi & Keese, 1126 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90017-1904, ASAP. …and be sure to tune into Tom Girardi’s radio show CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE ! Airing every Saturday at 5:00 pm on KRLA 870 AM.

Now, don’t start raging. Those of you who are part of the action, with relatives and loved ones that are involved, you are invited to e-mail legal@savingthelivesofourown.org with your questions. By e-mailing, you’ll be able to receive confidential news regarding the legal action that would be ludicrous to send out to everyone on facebook.

Thanks,

Richard

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