New rehab center set at NW Medical Center

Northwest Medical Center is building a new inpatient rehabilitation center.

The 13-bed center will cater to patients requiring ongoing therapy for health conditions such as strokes, arthritis, femur fractures, neurological conditions and amputations, officials say.

The new center will be on the third floor of the medical center. Construction is under way, with the goal of admitting patients in September.

CDC: Suicide rate up for middle-aged in AZ

Nearly 22,000 Americans, including 612 Arizonans, in the 35-through-64 age group killed themselves in 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week. Arizona's suicide rate for that age group increased more than 15 percent from a decade earlier and is one of the highest in the nation, at 24.3 suicides per 100,000 people. The national rate for that age range is 17.6 suicides per 100,000 people.

The national report showed particularly high increases among non-Hispanic whites and American Indians.

Most suicide research and prevention efforts have focused historically on youth and the elderly. This report's findings suggest that efforts should also address the needs of middle-aged persons.

The full report is available at

Pandemic specialist to speak Thursday

A nationally-recognized epidemiologist and expert in pandemics is scheduled to speak at a lunch Thursday hosted by the University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Dr. Mark Smolinski, a physician, epidemiologist and director of Global Health Threats for the Skoll Global Health Threats Fund, is scheduled to speak from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm St.

His talk, "Ending Pandemics: Big Ideas, Big Data and You!" and is part of the Partners in Public Health Luncheon.

Admission is $30 for Partners in Public Health members and University of Arizona employees, and $50 for non-members. Proceeds will support scholarships for children to attend the UA College of Public Health's first Healthy 2 B Me Summer Camp in June and July.

RSVP to Donna Knight at or 626-6459.

In 2006, Smolinski joined the startup team at as the director of the Predict and Prevent Initiative, a global health program for disease surveillance. Before Google, he was vice president for biological programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a public charity.

Jobs for mentally ill are focus of webinar

The federal government will host a public webinar this month that focuses on employment for the mentally ill.

The National Work Incentives event, "Ticket to Work for People Who Have a Mental Illness: Support on Your Journey to Employment," is scheduled for noon Wednesday, May 22. Social Security disability beneficiaries who want to make more money through work can find support to transition to financial independence, officials say.

Register online at or call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

Contact Star medical reporter Stephanie Innes at or 573-4134.