Long, Successful Career Helps Philanthropist Support his Community


Healthcare Network

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Posted on

Apr 17, 2024


Florida - Southwest

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Jerry F. Nichols is a stellar example of continuing to work and support his community long after many have retired.

At age 79, he continues to serve as full-time executive vice president of Brown & Brown Insurance and financial representative for Northwestern Mutual. Also, for many decades, Nichols has quietly set an inspiring example through philanthropy, dedicated to improving the lives of children and working adults in Southwest Florida.

Combining his career success and philanthropy is something Nichols was recognized for five times by the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Nichols was also named a Junior Achievement Hall of Fame Laureate, which honors influential, visionary leaders who have significantly impacted the educational landscape for youth in Southwest Florida in entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.

Late last year, Nichols solidified this commitment to the community by making the first major donation to Healthcare Network’s capital campaign. This donation will support the construction of the nonprofit organization’s planned 20,000-square-foot health center in the Orangetree area of Golden Gate Estates, ensuring essential access to affordable healthcare for the community.

“The Orangetree area has grown over 75% in the last several years, which makes the lack of healthcare services alarming,” said Jamie Ulmer, Healthcare Network president and CEO. “Jerry’s continued support of our mission is a testament to his generosity and commitment to making Collier County a healthier place for everyone.”

Located in northeastern Collier County between Ave Maria and Golden Gate, the planned health center is projected to provide care to nearly 30,000 patients in its first year. The array of comprehensive services will include pediatrics, adult and senior care, obstetrics and gynecology, dental care, x-ray and lab, behavioral health counseling and a drive-thru pharmacy.

“I believe health care is vital to keeping any community thriving,” Nichols said. “Everyone should have access to essential primary care services. Supporting the construction of the new health center means that Orangetree residents, including vulnerable children and seniors, have access to affordable and comprehensive care without needing to leave their own community.”

In 2018, Nichols received Healthcare Networker of the Year Award for his pivotal role in supporting the improvement of pediatric care in Collier County for thousands of area children. Then, he was recognized as the lead donor for the Nichols Community Health Center, a 50,000-square-foot primary health care facility in the heart of the Golden Gate community that opened in 2020. This center significantly enhanced essential healthcare services for the largest underserved population in Collier County. Along with the Nichols Pediatric Center at the YMCA of Collier County, it reinforces Nichols’ vision of making quality healthcare accessible to all children and their families in Southwest Florida.

Nichols has not only made financial contributions but has also dedicated his time to numerous causes, primarily focusing on local children and education. Some of the many not-for-profit organizations supported by him include the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, the Community Foundation of Collier County, the Ronald McDonald House of SWFL, and Healthcare Network’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. In addition, Nichols provides support to various Lee Health programs, including Golisano Children’s Hospital, Golisano Children’s Health Center in Naples, and Golisano’s Pediatric Behavioral Health Center in Bonita Springs.

 “I have focused my efforts and financial support on organizations that have an impact on children’s lives through education, access to health care, and safe environments that help them grow and develop into their full potential,” Nichols said. “When children aren’t healthy, they’re not reaching their full potential.”

   Healthcare Network is actively seeking contributions for its capital campaign with the goal of raising $15 million. Community support is pivotal to achieving this goal and ensuring that every resident in Collier County has access to essential primary care services. Visit HealthcareSWFL.org to learn more about Healthcare Network's mission and contribute to the capital campaign.

 By Gabrielle O’Boyle, director of public relations and marketing, Healthcare Network

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