At a Nurse Year in Review gala event held during National Nurses Week, Maria Fortus, RN, Eddy Duncan, MD, Heather Buschena, RN, and Lauren Fussell were named Nurse of the Year, Physician of the Year, Nurse Leader of the Year and New Nurse of the Year, respectively.

Maria Fortus, RN, BSN a 13 year employee is a charge nurse in Surgical Services, where she assists with a variety of surgeries including minimally invasive orthopedic and spine procedures, gynecological surgeries and general surgery. Fortus joined Citrus Memorial Hospital in 2004 as a Registered Nurse in surgical services. She was nominated for the Nurse of the Year honor by Citrus Memorial Hospital's medical staff.

Dr. Eddy Duncan, an anesthesiologist was nominated by the hospital's nursing staff. Duncan came to Citrus Memorial in 2015 from Coffee Regional Medical Center in Georgia. He previously served as Chief at Shands Hospital where he was also an assistant professor with the UF College of Medicine. He earned his medical degree at the University of South Alabama before completing both his anesthesiology residency and pain medicine fellowship at the University of Florida.

Heather Buschena, RN, BSN, BC has served as the manager of the hospital's neurotelemetry unit since November 2016. As the unit's leader her primary focus is on improvement of employee and patient satisfaction. Buschena joined Citrus Memorial Hospital in 2014 as a Registered Nurse on the neurotelemetry unit, where staff care for cardiac and neurology patients with conditions like respiratory failure, stroke, sepsis, or congestive heart failure.

Lauren Fussell, RN has worked on the hospital's Cardiovascular Patient Care Unit since August 2016. As a new graduate from the College of Central Florida, Lauren immediately embraced opportunities within the unit that allowed her to continue growing her skillset. She serves as a preceptor, orienting new nurses to the unit, and serves on quality improvement committees within the hospital.

Nominations were accepted and winners chosen based on four criteria:

  1. Works to provide care through collaboration with physicians and staff by committing to an environment of mutual respect and support.
  2. Provides quality care while expanding knowledge-base through continuing education, involvement in professional organizations and hospital committees. Teaches others when the opportunity arises.
  3. Demonstrates compassion and volunteers to improve the health and wellbeing of the community.
  4. Has a zest and persistence to improve care that is delivered at Citrus Memorial Hospital and encourages others to do the same.