WORKING TOGETHER—Several sponsors and community partners of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Associations’ 5th Annual Power of Laughter with featured guest Vicki Winans, seated in the middle. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

WORKING TOGETHER—Several sponsors and community partners of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Associations’ 5th Annual Power of Laughter with featured guest Vicki Winans, seated in the middle. (Photo by J.L. Martello)


Educating and empowering hundreds to be advocates of heart health for themselves, their loved ones and their communities, all while receiving a healthy dose of laughter, is what the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s 5th Annual Power of Laughter Health Workshop & Comedy Luncheon was all about.

The event was held Sept. 17 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

LATASHA AND CHARLIE BATCH (Photos by J. L. Martello)

LATASHA AND CHARLIE BATCH (Photos by J. L. Martello)


“We want to educate and empower people on the warning signs and risk factors for a stroke as a way to eliminate it as much as possible in the minority community and the best way to do it is with laughter and fun,” said Brenda Parks, Multicultural Initiatives director of the AHA/ASA, serving Pittsburgh and Cleveland. “I was extremely pleased to see so many women and men attend this year; many wearing their red.”

Guests were encouraged to wear the color red to honor stroke and heart disease survivors.

Like Parks, Sandy Volpe, AHA of Greater Pittsburgh Region board chair and senior vice president of FedEx Ground, was also grateful to those who attended, saying the education that guests received at the event could change the future.

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