Richard Suminski

Richard Suminski

Associate Professor

Behavioral Health & Nutrition
021 Carpenter Sports Building
Ph: 302-831-0413


Dr. Suminski is the Director of the Center for Innovative Health Research and an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Nutrition at the University of Delaware. He completed his doctorate in Exercise Physiology and master’s in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh followed by a post-doctorate position in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on innovation in physical activity promotion and assessment particularly where environmental factors come into play.

Dr. Suminski has been the Principal Investigator on grants from CDC, NIH, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He received the distinguish scholar award from the College of Education at Ohio State University and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a member of the American College of Epidemiology. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, presented at numerous national and international conferences, and regularly participates on grant review panels, critiques manuscripts submitted to leading scientific journals, and volunteers in the community where needed.


Data Analysis in the Health Sciences
Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition
Health Promotion (HLPR) 632


Recent Publications
  1. May, LE, Suminski, RR, Langaker, MD. Influence of Maternal BMI and Exercise on Fetal Heart Outcomes. Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. (in press).
  2. Suminski RR, Taylor WC, May LE and Blair RI. Primary Care Provider’s Consideration of Environmental Factors When Counseling Patients about Physical Activity. SM Prev Med Public Health. 2017; 1(2): 1009.
  3. Taylor WC, Suminski RR, Das BM, Paxton RJ and Blair RI. Evaluation of Mayor’s Wellness Councils: Recommendations for Website Content Informed by Community Coalition Action Theory. SM Prev Med Public Health. 2017; 1(1): 1005.
  4. Poston, W.S.C., Haddock, C.K., Heinrich, K.M., Jahnke, S.A., Jitnarin, N., Batchelor, D.B., Feito, Y., & Suminski, R.R. (2017). Response to Letter to the Editor re: Poston et al., Is high-intensity functional training (HIFT)/CrossFit Safe for military fitness training? Military Medicine, 182, 1476-1479.
  5. May, LE, Spencer, K, Daniels, R, Rouse, J, Stoop, A, White, W, Suminski, R. (2016). Community Awareness of Pregnancy and Child Health in Four North Carolina Counties. Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health 3(5): 294.
  6. May, LE, Knowlton, J, Hanson, J, Suminski, R, Paynter, C, Fang,X, Gustafson, K. Effects of Exercise During Pregnancy on Maternal Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability. PM&R 2016; 8 (7): 611–617.
Current Research Projects
  1. The Impact of Health Coaching on Patient Outcomes.
    The objective of this project is to determine if health coaching bestows psychosocial, physiological, and behavioral benefits to individuals eligible for bariatric surgery.
  2. A Next Generation Method for Assessing Park Usage and Environmental Context.
    The goal of this study is to demonstrate our ability to measure human activity using computer recognition software to analyze video footage.
  3. A Cutting Edge Approach to Assessing Physical Activities Occurring on Sidewalks/Streets. The aim of this study is to determine the extent to which wearable video devices can be used to improve existing measures of the physical activity built environment.
  4. Promoting small business support of youth physical activity in low-income, minority neighborhoods. In this study, we will test the impact of an intervention to increase small business support for youth physical activity opportunities in low-income, minority neighborhoods.
Completed Research Projects

FitnessGram Utilization in Delaware Public Schools: Principal and Teacher PerspectivesFitnessGram Utilization in Delaware Public Schools: Principal and Teacher Perspectives: The goal of this study it to better understand how Principals and Physical Education Teachers in the Delaware use the FitnessGram test results to improve instruction and physical activity outcomes.

A Sustainable Mechanism for Supporting Youth Physical Activity Resources in Low-Income, Minority Neighborhoods:  In this study, we created and tested the effects of an intervention to increase small business support for youth physical activity resources in 10 predominately African American, low-income neighborhoods.

Building Congregation and Community Capacity to Promote Health: For this study, I trained members of predominantly African American churches on how to assess and understand environmental conditions that influence eating and activity.

Leveraging Cross-sector Partnerships to Promote Health in Wyandotte County: This study is related to the one above in that I helped church members develop and implement a plan to improve environmental conditions they identified as important for a healthy lifestyle.
Maternal and child birth outcomes in Kansas. The objective of this project was to explore factors associated with low birth weight in Kansas. I examined relationships between birth outcomes and environmental conditions that could affect a pregnant mother’s ability to be physically active and eat healthy.