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Why We Chose DSM for Our Family

Choosing DSM

October 13, 2020

When my wife and I started exploring the idea of moving, there was much to consider. We were attached to the Midwest but looking for a city that would fit all our family’s needs: educational, cultural, social and recreational. Professionally, I was looking for an organization that was a leader and an innovator in the healthcare space. Considering our list, we assumed we needed to be looking at cities like Minneapolis, Kansas City, Chicago or Cleveland.

Moving to Iowa wasn’t something that had crossed our minds. Yet there we were, in early August, moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM) — during a global pandemic. But honestly, it couldn’t have turned out better for our family. Although I suppose we could have done without the pandemic part. Ben Vallier Family

When the CEO opportunity at The Iowa Clinic presented itself, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I was already familiar with The Iowa Clinic because of its strong reputation throughout the Midwest for being an innovator in the healthcare space and attracting top-tier physicians. It was so appealing to me that a relatively small, physician-owned clinic in the heart of Iowa could compete with nationally recognized healthcare systems like Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. Their emphasis on patient experience, values and clinical outcomes fully aligned with my professional philosophy. It was the perfect fit.

Despite my awareness of The Iowa Clinic, we didn’t know much about DSM. With three young daughters, developmental and educational opportunities were top of mind. As we started to research what the city had to offer, we were impressed by the public school system and the wide variety of options for parochial and other private schools.

Being born and raised in a small town in Kansas, I’ve come to respect and appreciate small town, Midwestern values. I’ve also come to appreciate the amenities that come with a big city. My family enjoys hiking and biking, going to the theater and dining out at restaurants — DSM has all those things and more. We also love to travel, and both my wife and I have aging parents, so having an international airport close by is a great benefit.

DSM’s Community-Minded Culture

After making an initial visit in late spring, we were surprised by the vibrancy of the city, the sense of community and the welcoming nature of those who live here. We felt immediately at ease being able to navigate the city and were impressed with the wide variety of housing options. We quickly understood why DSM is such a desirable locale.

It was also important for us to be in a place that shares a sense of responsibility in making the community better for everyone. The Iowa Clinic’s Healthcare Foundation is a perfect example of that, offering free sports physicals to students in Des Moines Public Schools to create greater access to sports for children and youth who may not have healthcare or regular visits with a primary care provider. I know we are not alone in giving back to the communities in which we serve and many other organizations in DSM contribute to creating change in meaningful ways. In my experience, this kind of community-minded culture is rare in cities this size.

Coming from a smaller community, we weren’t sure what to expect but within a few days of settling in, we had many of our new neighbors reach out and introduce themselves. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by that. Now that we’re here, we understand why people say DSM is one of the best kept secrets in the Midwest. And we agree.

Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods and shopping to parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Named the #5 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and a Top 10 Best Place for Business and Careers, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a city where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Ben Vallier

Ben Vallier is CEO of The Iowa Clinic in Greater Des Moines (DSM).