Dr. Aniela dela Cruz

PhD, MSc, RN
Pronouns: she/her


Associate Professor

Faculty of Nursing, Faculty


O'Brien Institute for Public Health

Advisory Committee

Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

CHREB Board Member

University of Calgary

Newcomer Research Network Member

University of Calgary

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Lead

Faculty of Nursing

Contact information

Phone number

Office: 403.210.7484


Office: PF3260B

For media enquiries, contact

Lynda Sea, Senior Manager - Communications

Office: +1.403.471-9762
Email: lsea@ucalgary.ca
Twitter: @ucalgarynursing


Educational Background

PhD University of Alberta, 2013

MSc Health Promotion, University of Alberta, 2001

BN (Distinction) Nursing , University of Calgary, 1998


Dr. Aniela dela Cruz holds a PhD in Nursing and an MSc in Health Promotion Studies (University of Alberta). She has over 25 years of professional experience in public health, health policy, and health and program evaluation research. In her career, Aniela has worked with Alberta communities, provincial and federal governments, and non-government organizations focusing on areas of public health such as HIV/AIDS, chronic disease prevention, pre-natal nutrition, Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC), and child and youth health promotion and illness prevention. She has worked extensively with diverse and resilient communities in Alberta and across Canada including women, children, people living with HIV, marginalized immigrants, First Nations communities, urban Indigenous communities, and urban and rural populations.

Aniela has expertise in qualitative research, contributing to the body of knowledge that concerns the health of migrants (in Canada), pre- and post- migration experiences, cultural safety, social determinants of health, and relational ethics. In her doctoral work, Aniela used narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly) as methodology to inquire into the experiences of sub-Saharan African immigrants living with HIV in Alberta. Currently, Aniela is the Calgary site lead for the national project, Acceptance and Commitment to Empowerment (ACE) Intervention: Reducing HIV Stigma and Promoting Community Resilience through Capacity Building. Aniela also currently chairs the Newcomer, HIV, Immigration, treatment Engagement and Stigma in Canada (NewHITES) Community Based Research Team.  The team comprises community leaders, people living with HIV, government, AIDS Service Organizations (ASO), community-based and academic-based researchers working together towards health and social equities within the intersections of HIV, stigma, migration and settlement. She also served as past co-chair to the Canadian HIV/AIDS Black, African and Caribbean (CHABAC) Network. Aniela’s work in HIV began in 2002 in Alberta, and continues this work in the broader context of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) prevention, care and support, health promotion, social determinants of health, and community-based research.

At the Faculty of Nursing, Aniela also provides leadership in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) as it relates to student experiences, learning, and nursing practice. She launched the first Faculty of Nursing EDIA Advisory Committee in 2022, working alongside students, staff, and faculty to advance EDIA in nursing.

Dr. dela Cruz is currently on Research and Scholarly Leave for 2023-2024, returning August 2024.


Areas of Research

Population health promotion and public health
  • Determinants of health
  • Social Determinants of health
  • Health and social wellbeing
  • Health and social inequities
  • Health policy
Equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Social justice
  • Promoting environments that support diversity, inclusion, and equity
Infectious disease prevention
  • Specifically the psychosocial care and support of people living with HIV and other sexually transmitted blood-borne infections (STBBIs) and the social determinants of prevention, care, and support.
Health of migrants
  • Including marginalized immigrants
Health of Indigenous Peoples
  • Population health promotion
  • Relational ethics
  • Upholding principles of ownership, control, access, and possession; knowledge generation with Indigenous communities

Participation in university strategic initiatives


  • Andrew Johnson Award for Exceptional Contribution to HIV/AIDS Nursing, Canadian Association of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Care (CANAC). 2021
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Institute of Infection and Immunity, New Investigator Forum Participant, 2015
  • Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Research Endowment Award, 2015
  • University of Calgary, Office of the Vice-President Research, New Faculty Establishment Award, 2015
  • Genevieve Gray PhD Medal in Nursing, University of Alberta, 2014
  • University of Alberta Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research Travel Award, 2013
  • Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust (ARNET) Educational Fund Award Doctoral, 2011
  • ARNET Educational Fund Award Doctoral, 2010
  • Universities Without Walls Fellowship Training Grant, CIHR Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research, 2010
  • Summer Learning Institute of the Universities without Walls Travel Award, 2009
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Level, 2008
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) HIV/AIDS CBR Program (General) - Doctoral Research Award, 2007
  • Dr. Shirley Stinson Scholarship in Nursing History, University of Alberta, 2007
  • Provost Doctoral Entrance Award, University of Alberta, 2006


More Information

Expertise areas:

  • Qualitative research methodology: narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), relational ethics
  • Reflexive thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke)
  • Program evaluation research
  • Community-based research
  • Principle of Greater involvement of People living with HIV or AIDS (GIPA) (1994 Paris AIDS Summit, 2001 Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, and 2006 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS)
  • Graduate student methodological approaches: classic grounded theory, interpretive description, narrative inquiry, interpretive phenomenological analysis