EMORY, Va. (WJHL) — Emory & Henry College announced plans for the proposed “Southwest Virginia Healthcare Excellence Academy Laboratory School” (SWVA-HEALS), Wednesday morning.

The school is designed for 10th-12th grade students to prepare for a career in healthcare and to serve as a ‘pipeline’ for helping workforce shortages in Southwest Virginia, the College stated.

“While this high school ‘pipeline’ approach will not provide an immediate impact on the healthcare areas that require baccalaureate and graduate degrees for entry into the professions, it will establish a high-quality, sustained pathway for training future healthcare professionals,” according to a release from Emory & Henry.

A $200,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Education helped put plans in motion.

(SWVA-HEALS) is a partnership between the School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing from Emory & Henry College, the public school divisions of Smyth, Wythe, and Washington counties, and the City of Bristol, the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, the A. Linwood Holton Governor’s School, Virginia Highlands Community College and Wytheville Community College.