IRVING, Texas—Christus Health, a Catholic not-for-profit health system, announced that it plans to enter into a joint venture with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, a Chilean university owned by the Catholic Church. The memorandum of understanding signed by the two provides for the ownership, operation and expansion of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile's health network as 17-hospital Christus supplies a local executive team, including CEO, chief operating officer and chief financial officer. “We believe that the partnership we create in Chile and our experience in Mexico will allow us to meet deep healthcare needs and will also help us diversify our operations, strengthen Catholic healthcare around the world and help Christus lead the development of new, international healthcare models,” Ernie Sadau, president and CEO of Christus Health, said in a news release. Though a definitive agreement regarding details of the operations has not been reached, a final deal is expected within the next three to six months. It is anticipated that Christus will own a 40% stake in the venture. Its health system is one of the largest in Chile, including two hospitals, 11 outpatient centers and a laboratory and imaging services network, according to Christus. Besides its hospitals and a number of long-term-care facilities, Christus Health also has 175 clinics and outpatient centers. The Catholic health system is also in 60 cities and has had an international presence since 2001, operating a similar joint venture with a seven-hospital system in Mexico.