Published On: Wed, Aug 3rd, 2016

Denise Gibbs, former SCAP leader, no longer at helm of residential care center

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Denise Gibbs, the former leader of a controversial housing agency in Modesto, was dismissed this past week from her management job at a senior assisted-living center in Manteca.

Gibbs was the executive director of Prestige Senior Living on Empire Avenue. In 2011, Gibbs was executive director of the Stanislaus Community Assistance Project, and her husband, Joe, was development director, when the nonprofit housing agency came under investigation by the FBI.

The parent company of the Manteca residential care facility would not explain why Denise Gibbs was no longer an employee.

 “I know they let her go,” said Nick McDonald, who handles public relations for Prestige Care Inc., based in Vancouver, Wash. “I think it was more or less her performance.”

Prestige formally said Friday that Gibbs “is no longer an employee. It is not company policy to discuss employment matters. What we can tell you is this is not based on the individual’s history or past allegations.”

Mia Mullins is serving as the interim director of the Manteca center, and Prestige is advertising to hire a new executive director.

In an email Friday, Joe Gibbs said Denise was let go because she accused Prestige’s corporate leadership of unlawful and unethical practices and raised concerns about adequate training for staff and the company’s failure to maintain adequate staffing levels. Gibbs said his wife raised the issues at a regional company meeting.

The Gibbses came under public scrutiny in May 2011 with reports that Joe Gibbs claimed $627,000 in bonuses on the income he produced for SCAP. In the following months, the agency came under fire for how it spent more than $8 million in federal funds and managed housing units in Modesto’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

In December 2011, an FBI search focused on the Gibbses’ home in Riverbank and SCAP’s office on Coffee Road. The raid came a week after the couple was suspended by SCAP’s board of directors. Denise and Joe Gibbs were terminated later that month.

The investigation has not resulted in criminal charges against the couple. Board members later changed SCAP’s name to Community Impact Central Valley, which has a downtown Modesto office today.

Joe Gibbs, who uses the name Bill today, was hired in February as executive director of the Merced County Food Bank. McDonald said Denise Gibbs was hired at the senior and assisted-living center in Manteca in February or March 2015.

Prestige Senior Living is described as a Tuscan-style residential center with 114 villa apartments for seniors, and a memory care program.

Inspectors with the California Department of Social Services paid a number of visits to investigate complaints at the center in the past two months. Two of the four complaints were substantiated, according to reports on a CDSS website.

The state is determining the amount of a civil penalty for a complaint regarding an injured resident. According to a June 30 report, staff members of Prestige Senior Living failed to document a pressure sore on the resident’s heel.

In addition, the resident complained of shoulder pain on March 10, but was not taken to a hospital to have the shoulder examined until four days later, the state report says.

An examination showed the resident had a broken clavicle, and “no one could explain how it happened,” the report says. In a correction plan, Prestige promised to further train staff on identifying pressure sores and reporting health issues to residents’ families.

The state also found the facility violated regulations when it required residents to use the senior living center’s pharmacy, or pay a $100 fee if they used a pharmacy of their choice. A law prohibits residential care facilities from requiring residents to purchase medications or medical supplies from any particular source.

Prestige Senior Living has six Type A citations and 10 Type B citations on its state record. Type A citations are issued when a violation poses an immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of residents in care, a CDSS spokesman said. Type B citations are for less-serious violations.

Joe Gibbs countered that the Manteca facility has a solid regulatory record. He noted that a recent inspection done every five years showed no deficiencies at the facility and 96 percent occupancy. Under Denise Gibbs’ management, the center received a national award from the American Health Care Association, Gibbs said.

Jeanne Pollard of Manteca said the Prestige center is clean, and she praised the facility’s staff for the care her mother received before her death earlier this year.

However, Pollard said she found that Denise Gibbs was not very accessible. “It took a while to get things done through her,” she said. “Her office was right there, but the door was seldom open.”

Pollard also noted that an older residential care facility in Manteca has a waiting list, while the newer Prestige center has some empty rooms. She said she would give Prestige three stars on a scale of four.

An ombudsman for assisted-living facilities in San Joaquin County said he has recently responded to complaints at the Prestige facility but said he could not provide details.

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