CEO and co-founder
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Industry: Healthcare Services
The progression of myopia in U.S. children is staggering. One in three U.S. children are affected by the disease, and the numbers are growing due to kids spending less time outdoors and more time on devices and screens.
The numbers are daunting enough, but the disease is also personal for Matt Oerding. His wife is highly myopic and one of his daughters has also battled it. It makes sense, then, that as CEO and co-founder of Treehouse Eyes, Oerding is one of the nation’s leaders in tackling the problem.
Treehouse Eyes is the leading healthcare services provider in the U.S. for treating myopia in children. With 58 locations in 22 states, Treehouse Eyes’ purpose is to give children better vision for life by slowing or stopping myopia.
Under Oerding’s leadership, Treehouse Eyes has quadrupled revenue in the last two years, expanding from 10 locations in four states at the end of 2019 to 55 locations in 21 states at the end of 2021, helping thousands of children, who now have better vision and eye health thanks to the treatments offered by Treehouse Eyes’ doctors. Treehouse Eyes has also grown from six employees to 15 and created new jobs and promotions for existing employees to take on greater responsibility.
Oerding founded Treehouse Eyes with Dr. Gary Gerber in 2015 after the pair discussed the increase in childhood myopia and how to address it. While many large ophthalmic companies were working on products to address the problem, no one was focused on the service-delivery aspect of the issue.
“When I co-founded Treehouse Eyes, the category of myopia treatment for children didn’t exist in any meaningful way,” Oerding said. “So we were creating not just a company with a unique service offering but also developing a novel category for medical treatment.”
In 2019 Oerding helped form the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC), initially a group of 10 companies in the eye care sector that worked together to drive public awareness of childhood myopia. GMAC has now grown to 18 companies and organizations and since 2019, has launched five public service campaigns in the U.S. to grow public awareness of the issue. Oerding was elected to be GMAC board chair for 2019 and 2020, and he continued to serve on the board in 2021.
With Oerding’s guidance, Treehouse Eyes has ambitious plans for the next five years, including expanding its leadership in making myopia treatment for children a standard of care in the eye care industry. It plans to expand from 58 locations at the start of 2022 to over 350 locations in the U.S. and develop partnerships in other countries to expand the brand. Treehouse Eyes’ providers will have access to the best protocols to guide clinical decision making, using predictive AI to continuously improve outcomes, the company said.
Treehouse Eyes is focused on culture, the company said, and it will be the leading employer brand in the eye care industry. Diversity and inclusion is also a critical piece of Treehouse Eyes’ success and culture, and it expects to leverage that to competitive advantage in the future. Diversity of gender, experience, age, ethnicity and ideas has been a cornerstone of how Oerding has built the team, and that will continue.
“Matt’s commitment to the evolution of his company is a differentiating factor between him and other CEOs in the healthcare industry,” his staff said.
As a result of Treehouse Eyes’ growth and success, Oerding has interviewed with the eye care trade press numerous times, written for Entrepreneur magazine and presented as the category subject-matter expert at trade conferences.
“In the Colorado community, Matt has leveraged his corporate and entrepreneurial experience to help start- ups in Boulder,” his staff said. “He has been a mentor and judge for the CU Boulder New Venture Challenge and continues to focus on giving back to help other entrepreneurs with his mentorship.”
"Matt's commitment to the evolution of his company is a differentiating factor between him and other CEOs in the healthcare industry."