Roundup: Ochsner Health System / Gulf States expansion / Thanksgiving retail 

    Expanding: Effective today, Lafayette General Health has joined the Ochsner Health System. Lafayette General Health will now be known as Ochsner Lafayette General. Now the largest and most comprehensive health care provider in the Gulf South, Ochsner is committed to expanding clinical services focused on the critical health needs of Acadiana. The merger includes an investment of nearly half a billion dollars from Ochsner over the next 10 years, which will infuse vital resources into the community to expand health care access, technology and workforce opportunities. Read the full announcement. 

    Real estate merger: Mike Saucier, president and founder of Covington-based Gulf States Real Estate Companies, today announced its formal expansion into Alabama through a merger with Alabama-based Holyfield Companies. Up till now, Gulf States primarily operated in Louisiana and Mississippi. Donald and Ronnie Holyfield will continue to maintain their appraisal business under The Holyfield Company name as Gulf States absorbs their real estate operations. 

    Holiday shopping: Not only have a growing number of retailers announced plans to be closed on Thanksgiving, but Americans also plan on staying home and believe retail workers deserve the day off, USA Today reports. That’s according to new survey data by Accenture, which found that 76% of U.S. consumers say retailers should be closed on Thanksgiving Day. Slightly over half of those cited the desire to give employees a well-deserved day off. The remainder said retail workers should spend the day with their families. Read the full story.