BRISTOL, Va. -

Two local colleges are joining forces to look for ways they could collaborate in health sciences.

In a memorandum of understanding announced today, Emory & Henry College and King University School of Medicine agree to begin exploring possible partnerships.

Next year, Emory & Henry will take its first step in establishing a proposed school of health sciences, when it launches a doctorate in physical therapy program on its campus in Marion, Virginia.

Emory & Henry president Rosalind Reichard says discussions with the King Medical School will benefit her college's health sciences initiatives in Smyth College. "There are possibilities of sharing faculty, for example," she explained. "There are possibilities of our students being able to do research with faculty they have and students they have at the school, so we're beginning a conversation to see where it might lead."

The president of the King Medical School says he and his board are pleased to partner with an institution of such high quality.