Ben Valier, P.Y.S.K
Story by Jefferson City Magazine Staff | Nov 02, 2015
Chief operating officer and corporate compliance officer, JCMG
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION? Four months
PLEASE LIST YOUR FORMER JOBS AND NUMBER OF YEARS/MONTHS IN THOSE POSITIONS: Chief operating officer, Hutchinson Clinic, Hutchinson, Kansas, for three years, Director of patient account services, HCA Wesley Medical Center, Wichita, Kansas, for three years and Managing consultant, Accretive Health, Kansas City, Missouri, for two years.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. My wife, Laura, and I have been married for eight years. We met my sophomore year at Kansas State University, and she has been putting up with me ever since. Laura is a registered occupational therapist specializing in geriatric rehabilitation and traumatic burn recovery. We stay busy with two children: Madison, age three and Elena, age one.
PLEASE LIST YOUR EDUCATION. I have a Master of Business Administration from Baker University and a Bachelor of Arts from Kansas State University.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION AND WHY? I have long appreciated the great work done by the United Way organization. They keep resources at the Photo courtesy of JCMG community level and support programs that are really making a difference in the lives of local folks.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR IMMEDIATE AND LONG-TERM GOALS IN YOUR NEW POSTION? My long-term goal is to continue JCMG’s tradition of providing the highest quality and most comprehensive physician led care in mid-Missouri. Over the short term, we have to adapt to a rapidly changing healthcare environment while consistently improving our service to patients and recruiting the best medical providers and support staff.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO IMPACT THE JEFFERSON CITY COMMUNITY? I am fortunate to work in a place where we can impact the community on a daily basis. Beyond that, I look forward to being personally engaged on a civic level with the Jefferson City community.
WHY YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR LINE OF WORK? I am passionate about providing high quality care to patients. I believe that this can best be accomplished by ensuring that physicians have the ability to practice independently and maintain relationships with their patients free from outside influence. For this reason, I have chosen to work for physician-led organizations. I am passionate about protecting and improving this important element of the health care delivery system.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME? A few years ago, I wanted to move out of the financial side of health care to a more general operations and strategic role. At that time, I had a very secure position with a major hospital system. This change in career direction required that I leave the corporate health care setting, take a substantial career risk and move my family. It was a tough decision and even harder transition, but I haven’t looked back.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST PERSONAL CHALLENGE THAT HAS RESULTED IN SUCCESS? As a kid I often struggled in school. It wasn’t until college that I really figured out how to excel academically. Overcoming some self-imposed learning barriers was a major personal victory that gave me the confidence to take on career challenges that I would have never thought were possible.
WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? WEAKNESSES? I have too many weaknesses to list, but one in particular is time management. I cannot ever seem to find enough hours in the day to get everything done at home or work. In terms of strengths, I like to think of myself as a problem solver. I love working with teams to foster innovation and develop new and creative ways to achieve results.
WHAT ACCOMPLISHMENT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD? Professionally speaking, I have had the opportunity to build some great teams. I have enjoyed watching new leaders step into roles and really take off. For me, that is one of the most rewarding aspects of my professional life. On the personal side, convincing my amazing wife, Laura, to marry me was a world-class accomplishment that I still cannot believe I was able to achieve.
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO SPEND A SATURDAY AFTERNOON? There is no place like home. I make every effort not to have plans on the weekends and focus on being around the house to spend time with family. That said, I also enjoy catching a Royals game in Kansas City or watching my alma mater, K-State, play football.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT HAS CHANGED YOUR LIFE? My Christian faith, getting married and becoming a parent have all altered the course of my life in so many ways. I have been truly blessed.
WHAT IS A SECRET ASPIRATION OF YOURS? I have always thought I might run for public office eventually. However, that seems less and less appealing the older I get. More realistically, I would like to someday teach a college course on business, marketing or something along those lines.
WHAT IS YOUR SOURCE OF INSPIRATION? My faith and my family are key inspirations for me. I am also driven by what I believe to be a growing need to improve the health care delivery system in the United States.
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW? I am fluent in Spanish.