Meet Our Executive Staff
In 2001, Feeling Great was founded under the entrepreneurial leadership of Sandra and Jerry Wrightenberry after they purchased the oxygen program, Second Breath, from Duke University Health Systems. Through their sound business practices and innovative decisions, the company, now known as Feeling Great Sleep Medical Centers, has grown from 80 patients to over 30,000! The company continues to grow and thrive due to sound leadership and the team of experts that work at Feeling Great. Jerry’s business and investment skills have kept the company financially stable and free from debt since the opening in 2001.
Although Feeling Great began as an oxygen company, as a result of their creative business and marketing strategies, Sandra and Jerry realized the need for community sleep centers. In 2003, they opened their first sleep medical center in Durham, North Carolina. Due to their leadership and the tremendous work ethic of the inspired team of licensed respiratory therapists, certified sleep technicians, and support staff, Feeling Great Sleep Medical Centers has grown to include four full service sleep centers located in Durham, Burlington, and Jacksonville, North Carolina.
The sleep centers are accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and include extensive programs for patients in need of sleep services. In addition to sleep diagnostic services and on-site physician consultations, Feeling Great offers oxygen services, and has a CPAP/BiPAP program that includes machines, supplies, an education program, a support group, and an ongoing compliance program. As CEO and CFO of Feeling Great, Sandra and Jerry continue to provide skilled leadership and an exciting vision for future growth.
Sandra and Jerry have lived in Durham, NC most of their adult lives. They became familiar with respiratory and sleep services through Sandra’s work as a Registered Respiratory Therapist at Durham Regional Hospital. Sandra developed an outstanding reputation among patients and peers as the coordinator of the home oxygen program, Second Breath, by caring for patients suffering from COPD, OSA, and asthma.
In 2001, Duke University Health Systems acquired Durham Regional Hospital and executives made a decision to discontinue the home oxygen program called Second Breath that Sandra coordinated. Understandably, Sandra was concerned about the need for continuity of care for patients on life-saving oxygen. The Duke University Hospitals’ Board of Directors agreed to sell Second Breath and in December, 2001, a new corporation - Feeling Great - was created. (Although the company continued to do business as “Second Breath” for a while).
Sandra relates a particularly poignant story about how she and Jerry arrived at the name, Feeling Great:
“One of the reasons that I was so passionate about continuing this service, is that in addition to my professional interest I also had first hand personal experience with how beneficial our services were and how much people relied on them. You see, my dad, Billy, suffered for years with COPD and he was one of our home-care oxygen patients. Right before we closed the deal to buy the company, he died. It was sad because he was one of our most ardent supporters and died before we purchased Second Breath.
So, I thought about my dad a lot during that time and when it came time to name our new company I was reflecting back on my dad and how he usually answered my question “Dad, how are you feeling?” “I’m feeling great!” he would say.
I knew then that “Feeling Great” was the right name for our new venture, because in essence, that’s what we do... make people who are suffering from lack of oxygen, feel great.”
And to this day, that one phrase, “I’m feeling great,” remains as the company’s calling card and foundation...
In less than six months, Sandra’s and Jerry’s determination and medical knowledge - as well as a savvy business and marketing plan due to Jerry’s expertise and business degree - paid off and their patient base continued to grow. In addition to Sandra's medical expertise, Jerry's outstanding work ethic and respectful treatment of customers created enthusiasm throughout the company.
As the business grew, Sandra and Jerry continued talking to patients and discovered that numerous patients suffered from sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea, the “silent killer.” Yet, many of them weren’t being treated for this dangerous medical disorder that literally causes people to stop breathing frequently while they are sleeping.
Sandra knew first hand from her work in Durham Regional Hospital’s intensive care unit what can happen when sleeping disorders are left untreated and she grew concerned about the lack of sleep treatment facilities available to quickly test and treat patients. The rest is history... in 2003, Sandra and Jerry opened their first sleep testing and treatment center in Durham. Modeled after the nation’s best-in-class AASM-accredited sleep facilities, she hired a top-notch team of experts: Registered Sleep Technologists, Board-Certified Sleep Physicians, administrative, and patient-care professionals.
Today Feeling Great’s four sleep centers serve more than 30,000 patients. Sandra and Jerry credit their tremendous success to their team of professionals who not only share their passion for sleep medicine, but work hard every day to compassionately provide their patients with state-of-the-art medical care in a warm environment.
Sandra and Jerry live in Rougemont, NC, with their children. She continues to conduct research on sleeping disorders and regularly speaks to groups on the dire effects of untreated sleeping disorders, in hopes that more and more people will seek help. Jerry’s exceptional core principles have made the Feeling Great Sleep Medical Center team an outstanding value to all of the surrounding communities.
Sandra is a member of American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Association of Sleep Technologists, and the American Academy of Respiratory Care.
2000: Isaac Hall Manning, Jr. Award for Excellence in Patient Care from Durham Regional Hospital. This award is in recognition of Sandra’s outstanding achievement in patient care and voted on by peers in the health care community.