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Published on June 17, 2016

Cone Health Names Unit After Man Who Helped Advance Local Heart Care

Leonard Kaplan helped bring cardiac rehabilitation to Greensboro

Kaplan Center Unveiling

Kaplan Center Unveiling

Members of the Kaplan family and the Heart & Vascular Center team unveil the sign for the The Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Health.

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Cone Health has named the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation unit at The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital after one of the driving forces for better heart care in Greensboro. The unit was recently dedicated as The Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Health.

“We have one of the best heart programs in the country at Cone Health. The philanthropy of Leonard Kaplan started us on the path to where we are today,” says Jake Hochrein, MD, chief of the Cone Health Cardiovascular Service Line.

In 1979, Kaplan and close friend Jerry Ruskin, MD, along with other physicians and nursing staff, created Greensboro’s first cardiac rehabilitation program inside a local YMCA. From these origins, The Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Health was created.

Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation plays an important role in heart attack treatment. “Moses Cone Hospital has the lowest 30-day readmission rate after a heart attack in the nation. Prompt and aggressive rehabilitation plays a major role in delivering that very high level of quality,” adds Hochrein.

According to, cardiac rehabilitation results in:

  • Lower cardiovascular disease mortality of nearly 30 percent.
  • Lower readmissions of 31 percent.
  • Enhanced ability to perform daily living activities.
  • Improved psychosocial symptoms and health-related quality of life.
  • Increased ability to return to work or engage in leisure activities.

At Cone Health, rehabilitation begins the day of or the day after a heart attack. Patients walk, peddle stationary bikes and lift weights in the ground-floor gym at Moses Cone Hospital. They also learn about reading food labels and how to improve their diets in the facility’s classrooms.

Leonard KaplanCone Health CEO Terry Akin points out that Kaplan’s impact touches many more than the 300 or so people who are enrolled in rehabilitation classes at any one time in the hospital. “Leonard’s philanthropy inspired others in our community to donate,” says Akin. “Giving by Leonard, his wife Tobee and others helped launch our heart care services and our research. These programs are consistently recognized for quality, innovation—and most importantly—for improving lives not only in Greensboro, but around the world.”

Those interested in supporting the heart program or any other Cone Health program, can do so by visiting

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