SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sanford Health could be operating in China in about a year if the Dakotas-based health system can work out details of a joint venture with the country's communist government.

Sanford Executive Vice President Ruth Krystopolski tells the Argus Leader ( the Chinese government is building a children's hospital and clinic in Kunming, a city of 6 million people. The government will own the facility but Sanford could provide medical services. Officials hope to figure out how to structure the arrangement within the next month or two.

Sanford bills itself as the largest not-for-profit rural health care provider in the country and is expanding globally. It'll open its fourth clinic this month in the African nation of Ghana. It will expand to Ireland and Mexico this year and Israel next year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.