MPTF Lays Off 18 Workers and Caregivers (Exclusive)

Staffing cuts come as the number of patients in the longterm care center has dwindled to 29

EXCLUSIVE

The Motion Picture and Television Fund's Woodland Hills home laid off 18 workers and caregivers this week, TheWrap has learned.

Six of the employees let go from the MPTF work at the non-profit's longterm care facility. 

Of that number, three employees were clinical caregivers and three were members of the housekeeping staff. That represents five percent of the longterm care center's staff. 

The rest of the employees work in other parts of the non-profit organization.

The latest wave of staffing cuts come as the number of patients at the longterm care center has dwindled to 29.

Also read: MPTF 3 Years Later: Longterm Care Remains Open, But Patients Down to 29

The MPTF’s board announced it would close the money-losing facility in 2009, but abandoned that plan in the wake of protests from grass roots activists, the various professional guilds, and Hollywood stars such as George Clooney.

Nearly 140 people called the longterm care center home when the closure was first announced, but some of that group have moved to new facilities or have died. 

New patients are not being admitted to the longterm care center, however, because the fate of the decades-old hospital is in question until the MPTF can find a new partner to invest in its services.

A proposed plan that would have brought onboard Providence Health Centers to operate the longterm care center collapsed over concerns about finances.

A deal with Kindred Healthcare is close, but has stalled until Congress decides if it will continue a moratorium on constructing new longterm care centers.  

"It’s unfortunate," Andrew Suser, co-founder of the grassroots group Saving the Lives of Our Own, told TheWrap. "We believe it further compromises the safety, security, and emotional well being of the sick and elderly residents of the Motion Picture Home who, along with the rest of us who care about such things, have been waiting for over two years for the fund to fulfill its promise to reopen the nursing home to those in the entertainment industry who need it now."

An MPTF spokeswoman declined to comment, but said that the facility maintains clinical staffing that is in line with or above levels regulated by the state of California.

It may be in keeping with regulations, but patients’ families are upset about the cuts and have long complained that the longterm care center is dangerously understaffed.