Over the years, Marketing and Communications has developed a preferred style for the punctuation and use of many titles and terms used throughout Seattle Children’s. In conjunction with our preferred style, we use the Associated Press style, which is considered the authoritative word for journalists on the rules of grammar, punctuation and usage. For medical references, we use Stedman’s Medical Dictionary for spelling of all diseases, disorders, syndromes, etc.

The Associated Press Stylebook can be purchased at major bookstores or ordered through the Associated Press, AP News features, 50 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020; it is also available as an online resource. Visit the Associated Press Stylebook.

Below is an alphabetical listing of style guidelines as they are applied when writing about Children’s.

All | # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 9 names in this directory beginning with the letter C.
Campus designations and building names

Seattle Children’s hospital campus refers to our inpatient and outpatient facilities in Laurelhurst.

  • Use Seattle Children’s hospital campus on first reference (it is not a proper noun so it does not require all initial caps).
  • Use hospital campus or Laurelhurst campus on subsequent reference.
  • Do not use main campus to refer to the hospital campus.

Use a building’s complete name on first reference.

  • Jack R. MacDonald Building first reference.
  • MacDonald building or the building on subsequent reference.
  • Seattle Children’s Tri-Cities Clinic on first reference.
  • The clinic or the Tri-Cities clinic on subsequent reference.

Example: Most of Seattle Children’s bench research takes place at the Jack R. MacDonald Building. The MacDonald building is at Ninth and Stewart in downtown Seattle Children's.


See specific topic areas for direction regarding capitalization of titles and disciplines. For headlines, use title case (capitalize the first and last words of the title and all of the verbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives and adverbs as well as words that are four or more letters long). “ALL CAPS” give the impression that you are screaming at the reader, and that’s not the impression we want to leave with our internal or external audiences. Exclamation marks (which give the same effect) are also not part of our usual brand.

New England Patriots Win Super Bowl
Patriots Steal Victory From Falcons
Incorrect: Great Strides Made in Diabetes Research!

For subheads, use sentence case (capitalize the first word and any proper nouns)

Come from behind win shocks Falcons

For sidebar headlines, use title case. In a headline or title, all elements of a hyphenated word should be capitalized (except for articles, short prepositions and short conjunctions).

Workshop Scheduled for Spanish-Speaking Staff
Up-to-Date Analytics Explained
Status Remains Touch-and-Go

Within a sentence, only capitalize the elements of a hyphenated word or phrase that are proper nouns (e.g., mid-September; English-speaking). Do not capitalize the short forms of organizational names.

Please meet me at the hospital’s main campus.
Incorrect: Please meet me at the Hospital’s main campus.

He is the center’s new director.
Incorrect: He is the Center’s new director.


One word, no hyphen


The correct title for an elected head of a Seattle Children's board is “chairperson,” but Children's follows the preference ("chair," chairman" or "chairwoman") of the individual who holds the chair position. Use the full name of the board on first reference to avoid confusion among the different boards.

Charitable trusts

In general, use the full name of the charitable trust on the first reference.

Example: Jack R. MacDonald Charitable Trust

It is preferred to indicate the specific trust on the second reference rather than to just say "the trust".

Example: the MacDonald Trust

Clinical programs and sub-specialty programs names

Use Seattle Children’s as the institutional umbrella for names of clinical programs and sub-programs.

Seattle Children’s Pancreatitis Clinic
Incorrect: Seattle Children’s Gastroenterology and Hepatology’s Pancreatitis Clinic
Seattle Children’s Spine Program
Incorrect: Seattle Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine’s Spine Program

Note: To avoid confusion when a reader may need to know the physical location of the clinic or program, consider saying, "Seattle Children’s Pancreatitis Clinic located within Gastroenterology and Hepatology"
Note: Avoid using “at” to identify the location of a clinic or program within Seattle Children’s. The use of “at” indicates that Seattle Children’s is providing services within a different healthcare system.

Seattle Children’s Neonatology at Franciscan Health System

Please note that the words “clinic”, “program” and “center” are only capitalized when used as part of a proper name.

Dietitians in our Celiac Program will help your family adjust to a gluten-free life. We created the Northwest’s first dedicated program for children with celiac disease.


Clarity and ease of reading are the goals of punctuation. This entry provides guidance for comma use in sentences with a series of elements. See the punctuation section of Webster’s New World College Dictionary for detailed guidance on comma use.

Do not put a comma before the conjunction in a series of elements when the meaning is clear.

The flag is red, white and blue.
The student attends school, is in the choir and plays tennis.

Include a comma before the conjunction if the meaning would not be clear without it.

Example: The governor convened his most trusted advisers, economist Olivia Schneider, and polling expert Carlton Torres.

Include a comma before the final conjunction if one of the elements within the series requires a conjunction.

Example: Lunch consisted of milk, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and grapes.

Composition titles

Seattle Children’s departs from AP Style for composition titles.

Use italics for titles of complete works (such as books, movies, magazines, and journals, with the exception of religious works, like the Bible, and books that are primarily catalogs of reference material, like almanacs and dictionaries, etc.). Capitalize the principal words, including prepositions and conjunctions of four or more letters. Capitalize an article – the, a, an – or words of fewer than four letters if it is the first or last word in a title.

Use quotation marks around article or chapter titles, song titles and the titles of lectures, speeches and works of art. Same rules of capitalization apply.

Their Eyes Were Watching God
"The Star-Spangled Banner"
"We Will Rock You"
The NBC-TV Today program
Webster’s New World Dictionary


Use contractions with discretion; consider tone and audience.