The Motion Picture & Television Fund is launching plans to build a $35 million healthcare facility, to be named the Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion, on its Woodland Hills campus.
Douglas and his wife Anne are making a $15 million gift to the MPTF for the two-story home, which will serve about 80 industry members struggling with Alzheimer’s as well as long-term skilled nursing care needs.
The MPTF made the announcement on Wednesday in recognition of Douglas’ 99th birthday. It plans to break ground on the facility late next year.
“We are grateful to Kirk and Anne for making this leadership gift of $15 million,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation. “It will kick the design and planning of this incredible new facility into high gear. It is in keeping with Kirk’s philosophy of giving back to the entertainment community that he is the one giving us the gift on his birthday instead of us lavishing one on him.”
Katzenberg also noted that Kirk and Anne Douglas have donated a cumulative total of more than $40 million to the MPTF. “We will never be able to thank them enough for all that they have done,” he added.
Douglas noted that he and his wife created the MPTF’s Harry’s Haven care facility in 1992 for patients with Alzheimer’s. The facility is named after his father.
“What MPTF has done at Harry’s Haven over the past 25 years never ceases to amaze me,” he said. “We wanted visitors as well as patients to experience a warm and loving environment, and MPTF has fulfilled our wishes admirably. When Jeffrey Katzenberg explained the urgency of enlarging the current facility to accommodate more patients, we had to say yes!”
Bob Beitcher, MPTF President & CEO, said the first floor of the new facility will be the new home of Harry’s Haven.
“Kirk was visionary when in 1992 he recognized the implications of dealing with Alzheimer’s not only for those directly impacted but for their family members as well,” Beitcher said. “MPTF is honored to be a part of the legacy of caring for our own that Kirk Douglas embodies by his words and his actions.”
Plans are for the Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion to provide neighborhood environments and a wandering garden as opposed to the typical hospital setting. The facility is being designed by Zakian Woo Architects in Culver City.
Kirk and Anne Douglas gave $20 million to the MPTF in 2012 as part of a campaign headed by Katzenberg and George Clooney to raise $350 million in funds to support the org’s charitable programs and health and social services, as well as child care and retirement care services for entertainment biz members.
The MPTF has been rebuilding since its January 2009 announcement that rising costs amid the recession would force it to shutter its long-term care unit, which had 136 patients at the time, as well as its acute-care hospital. It began admitting new patients in 2012 and has continued to operate its independent and assisted-care facilities in Woodland Hills and half a dozen health centers in the Los Angeles area.