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LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Health Department will post its state-mandated Community Health Assessment survey online next week.

Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said at Thursday’s Board of Health meeting that the 16-question survey will appear at www.surveymonkey.com sometime next week and will be available for seven weeks.

Dr. Rashmi Bismark, resident at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health, helped compile the questionnaire.

“This is done every four years, so all counties will be doing it,” Bismark said.

The county will join forces with the hospitals within its borders to use the results to compile a community health improvement plan, Bismark added.

“It should take the average person 10 minutes to do,” Stapleton said. “Completely voluntary. Nothing identifying in any way. The closest we get is ZIP code.”

Printed copies of the survey also are expected to be available in hospital waiting rooms, churches and a variety of other locations. Also, there will be posters with tear-off strips at the bottom showing the Web address for the survey.

Stapleton said he expects to be allowed to email the survey to all county employees, too. “We’re hoping to get hundreds and hundreds of responses,” he said.

Stapleton said he will meet April 9 with the county’s hospital CEOs to discuss the survey and how it links up to the state Health Department’s “Prevention Agenda” by determining health care priority needs in the county.

On another topic, Stapleton told the board the security upgrades are coming in the Shaw Building, the 80-year-old structure at the Mount View campus in Lockport that hosts the headquarters of the Health and Mental Health departments.

County buildings and grounds employees will turn to the work after Memorial Day, once they’ve finished preparing the county parks for the season, Stapleton said.

The Shaw Building, originally built as a tuberculosis sanitarium, has about 16 access points on the ground floor, counting doors and windows. Many are unused and were originally installed to make it easier to take TB patients in and out.

Some will be blocked off, and others will have restricted access. Inside, some hallways will be blocked with doors to keep people from wandering through the building.

“This is not a mental health client thing. We don’t want anybody wandering around the building,” Stapleton said.

Doors separating Health from Mental Health will be locked, he said. Also, a new handicapped access ramp will be constructed at the Shaw Building, Stapleton said.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com