LU Recovery and Resilience Academy to host virtual town hall on invisible illnesses

The Lamar University Recovery and Resilience Academy is set to host a virtual town hall addressing public health in the community on Monday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m. The guest speaker for this event is Beaumont City Mayor Robin Mouton.

The Recovery and Resilience Academy, which falls under the Lamar University Center for Resiliency, aims to provide community outreach and educational programs related to resiliency and natural disasters. The academy also connects local citizens to local experts and keeps the community informed on resources. The “Invisible Illnesses” virtual townhall will educate the community on Lyme disease, mold-caused sickness, COVID, and mental health issues as a result of hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters.  

“After the flooding and hurricanes, a lot of houses are damaged and our citizens don’t know.  When they get sick, they may think it’s from an obvious and typical diagnosis and they may not consider outside sources as the cause,” said Dr. Chiung-Fang Chang, sociology program director and lead of the RRA. “Our community goes through a lot of disasters especially after the pandemic and several hurricanes. We needed an opportunity for the citizens in our community to ask questions, have conversations and interactions with the mayor, all of our local professionals and scholars, and this event will serve as that opportunity. Mayor Moutin also will have a chance to connect with the community and answer questions on health.”

Chang said the Academy plans to host the next RRA event on May 7 and the third event in June bringing in local scholars to speak on their experiences with topic of violence and housing to provide local community members with resources. “We’re going to gradually build up our connection with the Southeast Texas community through activities and outreach events. Next year, we plan to host monthly events to help the community with more interaction and communication.”