We are radicals. It is probably best we get that out of the way.
We started Tribe because while so many seem to agree that healthcare is broken, there are almost no alternative models to prove a better way is out there. Our own sector of vision care is indicative of a much wider need for change. The same confusion over what your plan covers, the high cost of glasses with or without insurance, the lack of alternatives outside of faceless websites — it wore us down too.
The truth is that fundamental change in healthcare will not come from a piece of legislation or another flavor of the month website. It will come from the inside, from doctors and patients. Our story began in seeing that trying to build that future was indeed our calling. It means doctors working directly with manufacturers, in every field, to deliver exemplary care at a lower cost. And that if we can succeed in proving it in our field, our model will one day find itself replicated in areas far from vision care.
Tribe Eyeworks and its new take on holistic vision care was the multi-year journey of Dr. Nicholas Pittman. He is a graduate of Missouri State and the Nova College of Optometry.
Growing up with a litany of eye problems, followed by a severe eye injury as a teenager, a career helping people see better seemed a natural path to take. With the goal of becoming an optometrist in mind, he spent several years working in every possible role, from insurance billing to glasses technician. In the end, an affection for the design and craft of making glasses grew.
Working as a doctor in the VA as well as five years in private practice in the Upper Valley, the imperative to build a different model grew more clear. Working largely alone over the summer of 2018, Tribe Eyeworks was opened on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace that fall.
Like so many areas of worldwide healthcare, the care of our eyes suffers from crushing inequality. The most common forms of blindness in the world are trachoma and simply not having glasses. This is wrong and entirely in our power to change. That is why every glasses or contacts purchase at Tribe — will take a small step towards making sight a human right.