MPTF: Transitioning Residents, Transforming Promises?

A listing in a health-care-event document could send shivers down the spine of anyone who fought for the MPTF’s long-term care unit


There is a time at the ending of almost every sci-fi techno-thriller where the evil android, once vanquished from terra firma and lying in a smoldering heap, appears to be rendered harmless. The mechanical aberration whose prime directive was at first to serve mankind, but by the second act became a juggernaut of unspeakable destruction, finally lies mute.  

The metallic voice is silent, the eyes vacant. A testament to the power of good over evil, karmically delivered in the final scene by a bloodied super hero fresh out of rehab. And then … as the credits roll … we hear the snap and whirrr of a lone diode, and see the mutant eye once again glow a dull red …

This signals both a sequel and a warning to humanity…"it's not over yet."

A similar yet not as graphic warning in the form of an e-mail arrived last week from a concerned member of the entertainment industry offered a similar scenario, this time from what was thought of as the "new MPTF." What follows is a listing in a health-care-event document that could send shivers down the spine of anyone who fought for the MPTF's long-term care unit:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Redesigning care and services for tomorrow’s seniors is the top priority for aging services providers. Senior demographics, the economy, and health-care reform, as well as what seniors are telling us, informs our transitional thinking. Drilling down further, hear how MPTF is transforming as they transition residents to community based care.

Building on a “house call” concept combined with a modern multi-disciplinary team, MPTF is creating a new approach to care. In this session you will explore a new model of home and community based services, differentiate the resources, mechanisms, processes and partnerships essential to the transformational expansion of services and learn the outcomes and the impact of this care model.

Faculty: Seth Ellis, Vice President & COO, Susan Poprock, Chief Nurse Executive, Lea Pipes, Administrative Director

At this point, if you're not frothing at the mouth, you may be asking yourself — "If they've recognized that there is a place for long-term care, then I thought they abandoned the notion of being proponents of the abandonment of their responsibility to long term care. I thought that the new model was to provide long-term care on campus, courtesy of a new partnership between the MPTF, Providence and UCLA.

Why are they still talking about transitioning residents  off-campus to community based care?"

The poisonous thought process that long-term care is an anathema leads to the notion of doing away with the responsibility of "taking care of our own."  Is this the message that is still being sent?

I'd like to know the answer to that myself. Just as we bask in the acceptance of a new direction being led by "menschy" guys and gals at the MPTF to keep the promise of long-term and acute care services alive, we see the evil android again rise from the ashes. Its only functioning eye scans the horizon for demonstrators and activists, and seeing none, it slowly regains its balance and regenerates its own prime directive.  

As the electrical synapses recharge, it recognizes the names of the architects of its mission. Seth Ellis. Susan Poprock.  Names that were thought to have been vanquished from the script after Act 3, are now being cast for the sequel.  

There are people who fought, and fought hard. These people sacrificed careers to protect the residents from being pawns in a "community care experiment" that failed miserably. These people, some of whom are leaders of the entertainment industry, took on the cause of the Motion Picture Home while bravely butting heads with both peers and constituents. On both sides of the great SAG political divide, we found outspoken leaders whose care and compassion matched those of the founders of the MPTF.  

These people put 'We Care for Our Own" before "We Care for Ourselves."  

When Bob Beitcher announced the reversal of the MPTF's plans to close down long-term care, you could feel the group hug all over the industry. Those who were considered "enemies" voiced their joy that the fight was over, and that long-term care was here to say. The notion of a 44-bed LTC was not acceptable to many, but it was a start.  It was an indication of a new direction, and renewed commitment.  

People began to put their careers and family first again, confident in the notion that the wheels were turning, and the confidence that Beitcher is the man. Smiles returned to the faces of many residents and caregivers.

The MPTF must be reminded that their version of "community-based care" to the exclusion of long-term nursing-home care did not work. However they may want to repackage or repurpose it, it still won't work. The MPTF must be reminded that their "house call" concept — where caregiver teams who brave traffic and distance to far flung community care centers — also doesn't work.  

We've shown them that. They themselves have demonstrated that those who were transitioned out to community centers did not get the attention that was promised to them by the care teams. The MPTF must be reminded that they have their own challenges on campus as they deal with verified complaints that have been leveled at them by the Dept. of Health.

We must all be reminded that the future of motion picture and television industry health care is in flux, and we must remain vigilant and on top of the situation.  Promises are easy to make, much harder to keep. Let's work together to ensure the promise of long-term care while at the same time making sure that our eyes do not dim, much less extinguish — to a situation that many fought selflessly to right.