Sunday, July 31, 2011

Motion Picture and Television Fund Comes to TAG

MPTF President Bob Beitcher

If you work in Southern California's entertainment industry, the Motion Picture and Television Fund is one of the lynch pins that make day-to-day life more livable.

The MPTF has been around since 1921, when Mary Pickford (and assorted girlfriends) set out donation boxes inside shops on Hollywood Boulevard so that movie people "could take care of their own." Ninety years on, it provides health care, insures dignified retirements, and helps out with finances for people who have few resources.

Last Tuesday, Animation Guild members received a presentation about what the Fund is doing in 2011, and how our guild intersects with it ...

Motion Picture and Television Fund President Bob Beitcher gave a lengthy presentation, detailing the changes and expansions now going on at the MPTF’s retirement campus in Woodland Hills, also at its far-flung medical clinics used by over 60,000 industry employees per year.

Woodland Hills Campus -- The Long-Term Care Unit.

The biggest recent news regards the MPTF’s long-term care facility. The unit, slated for dismantlement late last year, will now be kept open, offering more services to a wider community. The thirty-bed dementia unit won’t be going away, and the Plan’s campus hospital will be repurposed for more elder-care. Providence Tarzana Medical Center will offer skilled nursing, palliative care and other specialized services at the long-term care facility. UCLA Health Systems will also create a neurological rehab unit on the site.

Bridge to Health

Mr. Beitcher told the membership that the MPTF has created a new program called “Bridge to Health” which enables members who are losing their Motion Picture Industry Health coverage because of unemployment or an inability to meet the new 400 hour eligibility requirement. The Motion Picture and Television Fund clinics will cover clinic doctor visits, lab tests, and x-rays for a $25 fee. And member will be able to purchase “pay forward" clinic cards for medical coverage.

There was a lively discussion about the stresses that come from being in and out of work, and the solutions that the Motion Picture and Television Fund can offer. Andrea Dzuris, director of the Annual Giving Foundation inside the fund, discusssed the MPTF’s current drive for donations and volunteers on the Woodland Hills campus, the details for which you will find here.

Just a few more words from your friendly Organizer on the Every Member Campaign ..

There are precious few organizations in our country today that were designed to benefit the industry they serve the way the Motion Picture Television Fund does. What started out as a few coin boxes on the set has become a charitable organization that offers a wide selection of support services to members of the entertainment industry. For anyone who has utilized the MPTF Health Centers, you've experienced one way in which the fund strives to take care of our own.

The Fund is sustained through the charitable donations from the community. The IATSE is reaching out to all its members to participate in the Every Member Campaign. TAG supports this effort and asks that all our members visit the webpage we've set up describing the campaign and the participation options.


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