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.
Refer to the Seattle Children’s Board Leadership page on seattlechildrens.org. When communicating to an external audience always use the full proper name of the board on the first reference (e.g., Seattle Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees). It’s OK to use Children’s Board of Trustees for an internal audience.
Capitalize names of specific departments, organizational units or process areas.
Examples: Human Resources Department, Business Services Department, etc.
Capitalize department or process area names when they are used as proper nouns, even when “Department” is not used.
Example: “Jane Doe directs the payroll process” but “Jane Doe, director, Payroll”
Capitalize clinics when the name is used as a proper noun.
Example: Asthma Clinic
When the word “department” or “division” is used alone, it is not capitalized.
Example: The department manager is responsible for enforcing the policy.
When used in a generic sense, “medical staff” is not capitalized.
Example: The medical staff includes primary care physicians and specialists.
On second reference, department names may be shortened.
“PT” instead of “Physical Therapy”
Refer to the Seattle Children’s Leadership page on seattlechildrens.org for the most up-to-date listing. Note: Dr. Jeff Sperring prefers his title written as CEO rather than chief executive officer
First use: Seattle Children’s Healthcare System; subsequent use: Seattle Children’s. Seattle Children’s Healthcare System is the legal name for the corporate entity that includes all aspects of the organization’s activities. Seattle Children’s Healthcare System is a Washington state not-for-profit corporation serving as the parent organization for several affiliated entities including: Seattle Children’s Hospital — An independent, not-for-profit regional pediatric medical center affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine and serving greater Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Seattle Children’s Research Institute — A division of Seattle Children’s that conducts pediatric research aimed at improving the health and well-being of people of all ages. Seattle Children’s Foundation — A not-for-profit organization that seeks and receives private donations to support the uncompensated care, capital, research, program, educational and endowment needs of Seattle Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Seattle Children’s Guild Association — A not-for-profit organization of guilds, auxiliaries, thrift stores and volunteers that financially supports the uncompensated care provided by Seattle Children’s and gives appropriate support to enhance the quality of care provided to its patients.
First use: "Seattle Children’s"; for subsequent use: "Seattle Children’s" or "the hospital" in everything published externally. (For internal communications, it's OK to use "Children's" or "the hospital" on subsequent use). Please avoid using the acronym "SCH" in anything published internally or externally. Please note that on second reference "hospital" is lower case, as it is not a proper noun.
Example: The hospital campus of Seattle Children’s is in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle. Seattle Children’s aims to be a good neighbor in all its activities. The hospital staff has an alternate commute rate of more than 60%.Seattle Children’s Research Institute First use: Seattle Children’s Research Institute; subsequent use: Seattle Children’s, research institute, or the institute in everything published externally. (For internal communications, it's OK to use Children's or the research institute on subsequent use). Please avoid using the acronym SCRI in anything published internally or externally (though it can be used in informal emails intended for an internal audience). Please note that on second reference "institute" and "research institute" are lower case since they are not proper nouns.
Example: Seattle Children’s Research Institute conducts pioneering research to find innovative cures and advance pediatric care throughout the world. The research institute is actively recruiting prominent investigators to bring their innovative programs to Seattle. The institute has nine multidisciplinary centers dedicated to…
Note: The institute has nine interdisciplinary research centers, and two programs (the Science Adventure Lab and the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics).
Seattle Children’s Foundation First use: Seattle Children’s Foundation; subsequent use: Seattle Children’s or the foundation in everything published externally. For internal communications, it's OK to use Children's or the foundation on subsequent use. Please note that on second reference "foundation" is lower case as it is not a proper noun.
Example: In 2008, Seattle Children’s Foundation successfully concluded an eight-year campaign to raise money for facilities, uncompensated care and research. The foundation celebrated this accomplishment on Sept. 16 with an event at Safeco Field.
Do not use initials in reference to Seattle Children’s (e.g. "SCH.").
First use: Seattle Children’s Foundation; subsequent use: Seattle Children’s.
Example: Seattle Children’s Foundation is consistently rated one of the top employers in the Puget Sound region. Seattle Children’s actively cultivates a caring community.
Off-site clinics First use: use the entire proper name, such as, Seattle Children’s Tri-Cities Clinic or Seattle Children’s North Clinic Note: When possible, note the geographic location for the North and South clinics, e.g., Seattle Children’s North Clinic in Everett and Seattle Children’s South Clinic in Federal Way. Subsequent use: OK to shorten to in this manner: Seattle Children’s Tri-Cities, the Tri-Cities Clinic, or the clinic Please find the most up-to-date list of regional clinic names on the Regional Clinics page.
First use: Seattle Children’s Research Institute Discovery Portal Subsequent use: the Discovery Portal.
Example: Seattle Children’s Research Institute Discovery Portal is a visitor center for guests, donors, community members, faculty and staff to learn about the research underway at Seattle Children’s. The Discovery Portal features bench research and clinical advances.
The names of the 50 U.S. states should be spelled out when used in sentences and running text, whether they stand alone or are used in conjunction with a city, town, village or military base. When used in conjunction with a town or city, the state name should be followed by a comma. Large, well-known cities do not require a state name (but it’s OK to include the state name).
The STP Bike Ride ends in Portland, Oregon.
The STP Bike Ride starts in Seattle.
You can only get to Juneau, Alaska, by air or sea.
In lists and tables use state abbreviations (see AP Stylebook). In addresses use the two-letter postal code abbreviations (see Addresses, style of entry)
When talking about someone taking their own life, the preferred language is “died due to suicide” or “death due to suicide”. Avoid using “committed suicide”. For more information see www.reportingonsuicide.org.