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WOODLAND HILLS : Hospital Marks Opening of Wing

WEST VALLEY FOCUS

December 14, 1994|FRANK MANNING

The Motion Picture and Television Hospital on Tuesday celebrated the opening of a renovated outpatient wing, made possible through a $2-million donation bequeathed by actress Natalie Schafer.

Schafer, who played Lovey Howell, a millionaire's wife on the television series "Gilligan's Island," was a longtime supporter of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which operates the 256-bed hospital, said Ann Thompson-Haas, the organization's vice president of development.

"She was a very generous, wonderful human being, and very loyal to her friends, and I think we can see that through her relationship to the fund," Thompson-Haas said.

Schafer died of cancer at age 90 at her Beverly Hills home in 1991. She had requested that any memorial donations be given to the American Cancer Society or the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

The organization operates five facilities in the Los Angeles area for people who work in the entertainment industry, officials said. Free care is available for those who can't afford it.

"There are people in the industry who, from time to time, fall on hard times, and they need the services of the organization," said Al Newman, spokesman for the hospital. "If people don't have insurance, there are ways for services to be given to them."

The nonprofit organization was founded in 1921 by pioneers of the movie industry, including Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith, organization officials said. Today, there are an estimated 500,000 people, including children, who are eligible for the health care services provided through the fund.

The new outpatient wing, which will be named after Schafer, will provide specialty care, including an HIV-screening program, dermatology, breast care, and orthopedic and neurology services, officials said. The hospital is in Woodland Hills off the Ventura Freeway.

Along with the hospital, the organization operates four outpatient health care facilities, in West Los Angeles, Burbank and Hollywood, officials said.

Half of the $2 million has gone into renovating the facility, according to Thompson-Haas. The rest has been put into a special trust fund that will benefit the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

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