HCA Florida hospital partners with school district to build health academy

HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital and the Okaloosa (Fla.) County School District are joining forces to launch the Health Academy of Northwest Florida.

The academy is a program from the Okaloosa County School District's career and technical education department but will be housed on the campus of HCA Florida Fort Walton-Destin Hospital in Fort Walton Beach, according to an Aug. 9 news release. Interested students will have the opportunity to earn healthcare industry certifications. 

Students in the practical nursing program will have access to hands-on training at the hospital during their senior year. After completing a two-year program, they will be eligible to earn a certified nursing assistant or electrocardiogram technician certification.

"The health and well-being of our community is our top priority, and this partnership allows us to address the needs of an evolving healthcare system while placing students on a successful career path," hospital CEO Zach McCluskey, BSN, said in the release.

The academy is scheduled to open in January. 

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