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Respected Heart Surgeon Joins AdventHealth

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Distinguished cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. R. Duane Cook has joined AdventHealth Medical Group and will perform procedures at AdventHealth Waterman.

Dr Duane Cook

With a career spanning more than two decades in North Lake and South Sumter counties, Cook played a pivotal role in establishing the area’s first open-heart surgery program in Leesburg in 1998 and he has performed over 10,000 heart surgeries at area facilities.

Now, as a member of AdventHealth Medical Group, he joins a team of nearly 400 employed physicians and advanced practitioners representing 30 different medical specialties. With 70 practice locations across Flagler, North Lake, South Sumter and Volusia counties, AdventHealth Medical Group clinicians collectively cared for more than 1 million patient visits in 2023.

“Dr. Cook has a long history of caring for the hearts of our community and his decision to join the AdventHealth family speaks volumes about the reputation our team has built for providing exceptional care,” said Abel Biri, president and CEO of AdventHealth Waterman.

His journey in health care began at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, where Cook attended medical school.

He then embarked on a military career, completing his general surgery residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Cook’s service included a deployment to Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm with the 31st Combat Support Hospital. Following his military service, Cook completed his cardiovascular and thoracic surgery residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his career, Cook has been instrumental in developing new heart programs across Florida, including Inverness, Venice, Winter Haven and Stuart. His passion for service extends well beyond the Sunshine State; he has led teams in Tanzania, East Africa, to perform open-heart surgery at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center.

Dr Cook and Practice Manager Kathy Hope

“I chose to join AdventHealth because of its reputation as a preeminent, faith-based organization, along with its warm and welcoming culture,” Cook said, reflecting on AdventHealth Waterman’s consistent recognition by the American College of Surgeons for excellent clinical outcomes in surgical patient care.

“I am excited to be part of a team that prioritizes whole-person care and is making a positive impact in the community my family is proud to call home,” he added.

In addition to his surgical expertise, Cook is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

The practice accepts most insurance plans and new patients ages 18 years and older. The clinic is located at 801 E Dixie Avenue, Suite 101, Leesburg, FL and can be reached at Call352-600-5601. For more information on cardiovascular care at AdventHealth, visit

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