Simply Healthcare Plans Donates Additional Scholarship Funds for Gulf Coast Students Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

Simply and GCSC reaffirm a commitment to improving healthcare in the Florida Panhandle.


August 5, 2023


PANAMA CITY, FL — Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) and Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply) announced the expansion of the Simply Health Scholars Program. This program, established in 2022, is designed to grow the number of nurses in the Florida Panhandle and increase access to care in medically underserved regions.


Announced during GCSC’s Board of Trustees meeting, the $100,000 donation reflects GCSC and Simply’s shared dedication to address the critical shortage of skilled nurses in Florida. This latest round of funding for GCSC scholarships has now reached a total of $250,000.


“Simply is committed to closing the gap in health disparities and supporting Florida’s workforce through the implementation of innovative solutions that can reinvent healthcare across the state,” said Holly Prince, president, Simply Healthcare Plans. “It’s vital our institutions on the front lines of health care education and training, including Gulf Coast State College, receive strong support, especially in rural and underserved communities.”


The $100,000 donation will benefit 10 deserving GCSC nursing students who reside in the Florida Panhandle and demonstrate a commitment to remain in the region after graduation. Recipients will receive scholarships covering tuition and associated costs for the 2023–2024 academic year. These recipients will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree and commit to practicing as nurses or health practitioners for a minimum of two years post-graduation in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, or Washington counties (Florida Health Plan Service Areas).


“In partnership with Simply, we are able to unlock opportunities for our nursing students to continue their education and excel in their careers without financial strain or worry,” said Dr. Keri Matheus, GCSC Nursing Division Chair. “Together, we are equipping the next generation of nurses with the education and skills they need to make a positive difference in the healthcare world.”


According to the Nurse Workforce Projection Report published by the Florida Hospital Association and the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, 70% of hospitals in Florida currently face critical staffing shortages. Furthermore, the report projects a shortage of nearly 60,000 nurses in Florida by 2035. This shortage is expected to have an even greater impact on rural areas, including several counties in the Florida Panhandle, which are projected to experience severe nursing shortages.


State Senator Griff Griffitts commended Simply’s philanthropic gesture, stating, “What an incredible gift from Simply Healthcare. With the nursing shortage this state is facing, we are so thankful for donations like this that help ease the financial strain for students and fulfill the needs of our healthcare industry.”


For more information on how to apply for the Simply Health Scholars Program, please visit


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 healthcare 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


About Gulf Coast State College


Gulf Coast State College is a public state college that provides pathway-focused associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and certificates. 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. ith 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