In my first blog of 2014, I looked back on our accomplishments from the previous year. Now I want to focus on MPTF’s exciting future. In so many ways, 2014 is the beginning of a new chapter for our organization. You can’t exist for 93 years without going through moments of significant evolution, and I like to think of this as a time when MPTF embraces its legacy to the fullest and takes the intentions of our founders to extraordinary new levels.
This year we are planning our programs, outreach, philanthropy, and growth around five important causes. These causes are not only the framework for today, but for many years to come. These causes are:
- Engage our industry members in keeping themselves healthy
- Provide a safety net of support for those in the industry who need a helping hand
- Reduce social isolation and increase social engagement for industry seniors
- Prove that creativity doesn’t end when you turn 65
- Convene the entertainment community around challenging and relevant issues
Let me go into some detail to give you a better sense of how these causes become actionable and create impact on our community.
Engage our industry members in keeping themselves healthy: We are a few months away from completing the transition of our outpatient health system to UCLA Health and we are even more excited about the opportunities for high-quality healthcare for our industry community today than we were when we announced our plans last October. UCLA Health is an incredible organization and the benefits for our industry members will be many and profound!
Our focus post-transition is simple. We want to help our entertainment community get and remain healthy. Within the changing national healthcare dynamic, patients need to seize control and the community itself needs to provide a supportive environment. By holding up a mirror and accepting the chief responsibility for their own wellness, patients become empowered and can affect the way care is perceived and provided. And most importantly, as patients, we can look ourselves in the mirror and ask, “What are the things I can do for myself and my family to live a longer, healthier life?” MPTF wants to be an integral part of that community dialogue. We’re committed to working with UCLA Health to develop a coordinated healthcare system in which everyone who cares for a patient works together as a team — with the patient at the center. As a giant leap towards that goal, all of the MPTF health centers, including our Age Well program, have recently been recognized as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA). PCMH focuses specifically on care coordination for those industry members most “at risk” for bad health outcomes and more generally on healthier outcomes for all. We also just celebrated the 10th anniversary of our award-winning Palliative Care program, which today has its largest census ever. We encourage anyone in the industry who needs this program, or has a family member in need, to contact us.
Provide a safety net of support for those in the industry who need a helping hand: This is where MPTF began over 90 years ago and what we continue to do so well for so many in our community. We anticipate funding over $2 million in 2014 for our various safety net programs, helping industry members with the exigencies of daily living, with caregiving support, with health insurance premium support, and so on. If you know of someone in the industry who you think would benefit from meeting with one of our social workers in connection with any of our safety net programs, please encourage them to reach out. We handle all matters with the highest level of respect, privacy, and confidentiality. In particular, this year we are very focused on supporting industry members who are also combat veterans with the labyrinthine application process for VA benefits.
Reduce social isolation and increase social engagement for industry seniors: On our campus, we have some absolutely wonderful new programs for our industry seniors. In Harry’s Haven, our special care unit for those with memory impairment, we have a MUSIC OVER SILENCE program that provides each resident with an iPod or MP3 player loaded with their favorite music and a pair of over-the-ear headphones. The positive impact of music therapy is great to see! (By the way, we are always on the look-out for extra devices for loading and playing music and headphones if you have anything available.) Off campus, we are involved in many programs targeting our industry seniors. One of them, the MPTF Retiree Club, has signed up over 300 interested industry workers and held some great events like a bowling party, a holiday dance, and a healthy cooking demo. We are committed to keeping the retired entertainment community socially active and engaged with other members of the entertainment community. Later this month we are sending out a survey to industry members 50+ to ask about their current and future needs, and will be building new programs or expanding existing programs once we understand what those needs are.
Prove that creativity doesn’t end when you turn 65: Channel 22, our in-house media center, is always busy in pre-production, production, and post-production on creative content originated by our residents on campus and/or industry volunteers. Residents enjoy this programming through our in-house cable channel (you guessed it, Channel 22). In April, a 24-minute documentary produced and directed by Ned McNeilage, a former CAA agent who got the idea for this program during a Bingo party on campus, will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. SHOWFOLK is Ned’s homage to 7 of our residents who took the risks required to make a career in the entertainment industry. It is funny, smart, and very moving, and I would encourage you to leap at the opportunity to see it when it plays in LA.
Convene the entertainment community around challenging and relevant issues: Last year we launched our Healthcare Summit and our Women’s Conference and both will be back, bigger and better than ever, in 2014. The Healthcare Summit is May 14th and the Women’s Conference is scheduled for September 28th. We have been very fortunate to line up some incredibly exciting speakers for both events and look forward to taking our industry member attendees further down the road on some interesting conversations. There are two blogspots supporting these ongoing dialogues and I encourage you to follow them and participate in the conversation. The Healthcare Summit and its topics are discussed at www.themptfhealthcareconversation.com, and the Women’s Conference is www.dealwithittoday.com
I hope you share my enthusiasm over the remarkable work we are embarking on in 2014 for the future benefit of our shared community.