Washington is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon treaty.
One of the original grape varieties grown in Washington, the state's Rieslings tend to be very floral in the nose, with vivid apricot-peach flavors. Occasionally, the "noble rot" works its magic on Riesling, concentrating the sugars and flavors to produce a late-harvest or ice wine of incomparable intensity.
Eastern Washington vineyards are planted on gently rolling hills that are bordered on the north by the Okanogan Highlands, on the east by the Palouse and on the south by the Columbia River and Oregon's Blue Mountains.
Washington is the only one of the fifty states to be named for a president and is home to Mount St. Helens, an active volcanoe which erupted in 1980.
Because the Cascade Mountains run parallel to the coast the entire length of the state, Washington is divided into two distinct climates. The western third has a temperate rain forest climate, while the eastern two-thirds of the state is warmer and drier.
In Washington, 89% of all public funds used to treat mental illness come from Medicaid, a federal-state partnership. Washington's reliance on Medicaid far exceeds that of other states that average only around 50-55% Medicaid funds. While Medicaid funding increased for mental health services since 1993 in Washington, state-only funding for these services actually declined.
Other important manufactures in the state are chemicals and primary metals, especially aluminum. Abundant water power and the rich aluminum and magnesium ores found in the Okanogan Highlands in the northeast part of the state have made Washington the nation's leading aluminum producer.
Hospitals in the state provided charity care costing almost $280 million
Many other types of community benefit were provided including unpaid Medicaid costs (over $514 million), educational outreach, screening programs, support groups, education of health professionals, health research, and cash and in-kind donations.
Granted statehood in 1889, Washington was named in honor of George Washington; it is the only U.S. state named after a president. The state's coastal location and excellent harbors have contributed to its role as a leader in trade with Alaska, Canada and countries of the Pacific Rim.
Harvest of Washington apples begins in mid-August and generally ends in early November. Each year, Washington harvests over 100 million boxes of apples, each weighing about 40 pounds.
In 2008, 24,320 women obtained abortions in Washington, producing a rate of 18.3 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Some of these women were from other states, and some Washington residents had abortions in other states, so this rate may not reflect the abortion rate of state residents.