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Gulf Coast State College Nursing Students Receive Scholarship from Simply Healthcare Plans



PANAMA CITY, Fla.–()–Gulf Coast State College hosted an on-campus press conference on Friday, March 25 at 10 am to announce the launch of the Simply Health Scholars Program and its ten scholarship recipients. Thanks to over $100,000 in funding from Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply), select nursing students who reside in the Florida Panhandle will receive scholarships to fully cover their tuition and associated costs. These recipients are pursuing their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and they reside in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Franklin or Washington counties.

“It is an honor for Simply Healthcare to select Gulf Coast State College as the first college in Florida to initiate the Simply Health Scholars Program,” said Dr. John Holdnak, President of Gulf Coast State College. “Our partnership with Simply will not only benefit our students while they pursue their degree, but also our community as our graduates serve the Panhandle post-graduation.”

According to the Florida Hospital Association and Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida’s Nurse Workforce Projection Report, Florida faces a shortfall of 59,100 nurses by 2035. This shortage can be felt even more acutely in particular areas of the state, including many counties located in the Florida Panhandle. These counties are among those expected to face some of the state’s most dire RN shortages.

“Florida’s health care heroes have been on the frontlines caring for our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “As our state continues to compete for talented health care professionals to serve our communities, it’s more important than ever to find new ways to attract these candidates from across the country to study and work here in Florida. Thank you to Gulf Coast State College and Simply Healthcare for their investment in Florida’s future health care heroes and congratulations to the scholarship recipients.”

To help maintain a robust network of highly skilled health care providers in some of Florida’s most vulnerable communities, GCSC and Simply have teamed up to invest in the next generation of health care heroes who will commit to post-graduate work in the Florida Panhandle.

“We are proud to support Gulf Coast State College and their exceptional nursing students in their pursuit to become health care leaders within their communities,” said Holly Prince, President of Simply Healthcare. “At Simply, we continually seek opportunities and collaborations to help increase the health care workforce, especially in locations of greatest need. Our collaboration with Gulf Coast State College is emblematic of our mission to improve lives and communities in every area of the state and ensure institutions on the front lines of health care education and training are well supported.”

The Simply Health Scholars Program is part of more than $1 million in financial support provided by Simply since 2021 to address various community needs across Florida.

“The partnership between Simply and Gulf Coast State College to increase the nursing workforce accomplishes two great things for the Panhandle,” said Rep. Jason Shoaf, House District 7. “First, it helps ensure that our communities have access to quality care to keep them healthy. And second, it equips our neighbors in local communities with the skills needed to enter and strengthen our workforce.”

About Gulf Coast State College

Gulf Coast State College is a two-year public college that also offers workforce-oriented bachelor’s degrees and certifications. We are located near the world’s most beautiful beaches and serve thousands of students across Northwest Florida. We provide educational opportunities for all ages, and are proud to be recognized for being a military friendly institution. We offer a broad array of degree programs to meet in-demand career and workforce needs. With the lowest tuition of public colleges and universities in Florida, you’ll find that we are a tremendous value for everyone’s educational goals. Learn more at www.gulfcoast.edu.

About Simply Healthcare Plans

Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. (“Simply”), is a Florida managed health care plan that serves Medicare Advantage and Medicaid members in the state of Florida. In addition, Simply, through a line of business called Clear Health Alliance, also serves Florida Medicaid members who are living with HIV/AIDS. Our goal is to provide health care and related services that are comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Each and every day, members of our team can be found in Florida communities, listening to our members, interacting with our health care providers and partnering with community-based organizations. Our goal is to ensure members and entire communities are empowered to become active participants in their health care and sustain healthy lifestyles. To learn more about Simply, visit www.simplyhealthcareplans.com.



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