DANVILLE - The integration of SUN Home Health and Hospice into the Geisinger Community Health Services received regulatory approval from the state attorney general.

No immediate changes in SUN staffing are expected as a result, but changes could come over time. In the short term, most employees will work at their same location with the same supervisor, performing the same duties, according to Michael Ferlazzo, Geisinger public relations specialist.

Patients should see little impact, at least initially, and there's no expectation that insurance coverage would be impacted either.

One of SUN's seven branch locations is at 102 E. Independence St., Shamokin. A hospice care center is located in Sunbury. Its corporate office is in Northumberland.

"Offices may move if better locations within the same geographic areas are available, and additional offices could be added in the future as new opportunities are explored," Ferlazzo said by email.

SUN's chief executive Steve Richard is expected to lead the firm under the Geisinger umbrella.

"Our patients and the community at large will benefit from this integration, assuring individuals and their families are provided the highest quality, cost effective home healthcare possible" Richard said.

Geisinger's Columbia Montour Home Health will continue to operate separately as a Geisinger affiliate.

"We are pleased to welcome SUN Home Health and Hospice to the Geisinger family. Together, we can greatly enhance the patient experience, helping them stay at home with their families while recovering from surgery, dealing with a chronic illness or facing the challenges associated with aging," said Geisinger Health System Vice President for Population Health Denise B. Prince.