ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — As the old adage goes: “Laughter is the best medicine,” and the VA is teaming up with ArtsAltoona to teach vets all about comedy with a local stand-up comedian.

The James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center will be partnering with ArtsAltoona to provide a comedy boot camp, at the ArtsAltoona Center beginning Nov. 3.

The classes will be held every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and are free to Veterans who are enrolled in VA Healthcare.

The boot camp will wrap up Dec. 15, with a graduation event. Veterans who are not enrolled in VA healthcare will be provided the opportunity during the boot camp.

The classes will be taught by Army Veteran Michael Quinn. Including his more than 20 years of serving in the Army, Quinn is a recognized comedian throughout Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas.

“The fact that we have local organizations, like ArtsAltoona, that want to assist us in making Veterans lives more fulfilling, is a wonderful benefit to being part of a Veteran-focused community,” said Sigrid Andrew, VA Medical Center Director.

If you would like to participate in this event, please contact the VA Medical Center Whole Health Program at 814-943-8164 ext. 8546, Mike at ArtsAltoona 814-201-7004, or visit

The James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center has been partnering with local organizations to address topics such as veteran’s hiring, shortages in community healthcare, COVID response, and Veterans service connections throughout their 14-county catchment area.

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