CHICAGO — The Skokie, Ill.-based health care advisory firm Kaufman Hall & Associates Inc. will close out a busy 2009 with two new partners after promoting its head of the mergers and acquisitions group, Kit Kamholz, to the senior status and earlier this year hiring former banker James Blake.

The firm now has nine partners, said Kenneth Kaufman, the managing partner who co-founded the firm in 1985 with partners Therese Wareham and Mark Hall. It has grown from the three founders to more than 80 employees — including 20 focused on advising hospitals — working at offices in the Chicago area, New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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