Background[edit | edit source]
The Starfish Aquatics Institute (SAI) is one of the five nationally recognized water safety certification agencies in the United States, with a growing international presence. Not only is SAI the fastest growing agency, founder Jill White is consistently named one of the “Power 25” in the world of aquatics professionals. Her innovative leadership and vision have also been recognized by the World Waterpark Association, which in 2010 bestowed on her it prestigious Al Turner Memorial Commitment to Excellence Award and inducted her into the World Waterpark Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
SAI collaborates in drowning prevention and standards development initiatives and its representatives frequently speak at national and international industry conferences Clients embrace SAI’s comprehensive programs and recognize that its consulting staff and Medical Directors are the most highly trained and Dr. Hawkins is an emergency physician and EMS medical director in North Carolina and has served as a Medical Director for SAI since 2011. He attended Yale University and graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. A renowned speaker on wilderness medicine, Dr. Hawkins founded and was the first Executive Director for the Appalachian Center for Wilderness Medicine. He is a Master Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine and a Fellow of the Academy of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians. He’s the founder of the Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship and the medical director of the NC State Parks and Landmark Learning as well as a board member.
Dr. Sempsrott has served as a Medical Director for SAI since 2011. A graduate of the University of South Florida College of Medicine, he completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of Nevada, School of Medicine. In 2006, he founded Lifeguards Without Borders, a non-profit NGO dedicated to reducing the global burden of drowning morbidity and mortality. Currently serving as Executive Director of the group, he has consulted on programs in Peru, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Cameroon, the UK and Colombia. A frequent lecturer across the globe, Dr. Sempsrott also publishes widely on the topic of drowning. He has won numerous awards and honors from educational institutions and conferences. Dr. Sempsrott is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a member of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.