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Our members know their states. Learn more about wonderful Washington from our member, Faith.

Name: Faith Johnson

City, State: Olympia, Washington

Organization: Washington State Department of Health Rural Health Program

How long have you lived in Washington? Why do you choose to live there?
I have lived in Washington for 45 years. I love the four seasons we have in Washington and how lush and green it is. We have the best of both; the mountains and the ocean beaches.

How is 3RNet impacting Washington?
3RNet has been so helpful in Washington State in helping us locate qualified medical professionals who share the same goal of making sure all Washington communities have access to healthcare. Most of the candidates have an understanding of rural communities and a desire to work and live in these communities. 

What are the best cultural events that happen in Washington?
There are many but some of the most popular ones are Ethnic Fest, Chinese Lantern Festival, Festa Italiana, Seattle Pierogi, Japan Fair, GreekFest., Seattle International Film Festival, Sea-fair, Makah Days, Ellensburg Rodeo, Kitsap Harbor Festival, Spokane boat show, Freedom Fest, Washington State Kite Festival, Tacoma Ethnic Fest, Washington State Fair etc.

Why should a health professional choose Washington over surrounding states?
Washington is a state with enormous diversity. From ocean to rainforest, from high desert to mountains, the beauty of the state is unmatched and provides incredible outdoor recreation opportunities and scenic beauty. Those who would prefer to serve the urban underserved will find Seattle and Spokane vibrant cultural centers. The state also has a national reputation as a leader in progressive public health work.

What loan repayment programs does Washington have? Anything that makes those programs unique?
Washington has several state and federal loan repayment programs. These programs all provide awards to health professionals working in underserved communities. Clinicians are able to apply to multiple programs if they qualify but must make certain to accept an award from only one program at a time. 

How is the J-1 Visa Waiver program utilized in Washington?
The Washington State Department of Health administers the J-1 Physician Visa Waiver Program. The goal of the program is to increase the number of physicians available to work in rural and underserved areas of the state. The program is considered a secondary tool in recruitment, used when efforts to recruit a U.S. trained physician have been unsuccessful.

Do you want to feature anything about the J1 program in Washington?
Washington receives more applications for J1 than the 30 slots that can be accepted annually.

Are healthcare professionals valued in Washington? 
Washington highly values our healthcare professionals. One example is the Volunteer and Retired Professional program, a state funded effort that provides malpractice insurance at no cost to licensed clinicians who volunteer their time. If they are not using their license for any paid work, their license renewal costs are also covered by state dollars.

Why do people travel to Washington?
When surrounded by the incredible Pacific Northwest, it’s pretty tough not to want to do everything outside (in spite of the weather). Whether you’re reading a book on the coast or kayaking on the Puget Sound, outside is where it’s at—regardless of the season. Hike, bike, stand-up paddleboard, and surf during the summer, then snowboard, ski, snowshoe, and snow camp in the winter. If you like the outdoors, this is Washington.

What sports teams does Washington have?
Washington has quite a few sports teams including Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Storm, Seattle Sounders, Seattle Reign, Seattle Kraken, Seattle Seawolves

What is your favorite local food?
Being on the West coast means we have some great seafood and Salmon. Washington also offers amazing coffee, apples, Rainier Cherries, Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips, Brown-Haley Almond Roca is made here, and Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

What is Washington best known for?

  • Seattle Space Needle
  • Pikes Place Market – Fish throw at the market.
  • Washington Apple Production
  • Beautiful green forests, mountains and ocean beaches.

What is the biggest misconception about Washington?
That it rains all the time. Seattle actually ranks 44th among major U.S. cities, getting less rainfall annually than Boston, New York, Houston and Miami.

What are the biggest industries in Washington?
Food production, Aero space, IT, Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks

How is the weather/climate in Washington?
The weather patterns across the state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest region are incredibly diverse. The climate is moist and mild on the west side of the Cascade Mountain Range. On the eastern side, it's drier, with hot summers and cold, snowy winters. The climate within each side of the Cascades also varies considerably, particularly when it comes to wind and precipitation. 

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