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Providence agrees to take over Motion Picture Home

February 23, 2011 | 11:37 am

Hollywood's struggling nursing home may have a new operator, averting a shutdown that has been in the works for nearly two years.

The Motion Picture and Television Fund said Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with hospital chain Providence Health & Services that will allow the fund to keep the hospital and nursing home open.

Under the proposed agreement, which was first reported in The Times in December, Providence would sign a long-term lease agreement with the fund to manage the 250-bed hospital and nursing home, avoiding a controversial planned closing of the facilities. State licenses for the hospital would be transferred to nearby Providence Tarzana Medical Center.

In addition, UCLA Health System will assist in the "revitalization of the medical" program, operating a new neurological rehabilitation unit at the facility, the fund said in a statement.

"Over the last year, I have been working closely with my fellow board members and management to find a positive resolution to our long-term care and acute-care issue,'' said Bob Beitcher, the fund's chief executive.

The fund's board had announced in January 2009 that it intended to close the facilities, saying they were losing millions each year. Residents and their supporters fought back, saying comparable facilities were not available elsewhere and that the fund was abandoning its charter to take care of entertainment industry workers. They hired an attorney to block eviction and mounted a campaign to keep the nursing home afloat.

The final agreement is still subject to approval by the fund's board, as well as state regulators.

-- Richard Verrier

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