CHICAGO - The Illinois Finance Authority board yesterday advanced borrowing plans totaling $500 million for health care facilities in the state, including up to $350 million for Northwest Community Hospital to finance a new patient tower and other projects and to refund existing debt.

The licensed 488-bed Northwest Community Hospital in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights would use about $123 million from the sale to help finance a $250 million construction program that includes plans for a new 289,000 square-foot patient tower, a 770-space parking garage, emergency department, and other projects. The plan is aimed at modernizing the hospital's facilities to help it remain competitive and to ease restraints on growth as it has struggled with capacity constraints.

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