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Our key items are listed alphabetically below.

When in doubt, follow Associated Press style; then consult Merriam-Webster.

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

A top

abbreviations

  • measurements Abbreviate mg, g, ml, m, km, cm and mm, but spell out inch, feet, foot, yards and miles. Symbols may be used if space is tight. (e.g., a 30’ x 40’ pool)
  • recipes cup, tsp., tbsp., oz. min., hr., ° F
  • states Spell out the names of states except in addresses. Cities in Virginia need not be followed by Virginia (e.g., Farmville, not Farmville, Virginia). Use postal abbreviations (e.g., VA, GA, FL) in addresses.
  • addresses Abbreviate Rd., St., Blvd., Ln., etc. Use N., S., E., W., NOT North, South, etc.
  • months Spell out months that stand alone (e.g., September 2015), unless space is tight. In dates, abbreviate months longer than six letters in dates (e.g., Jan. 1, 2014).

acronyms

  • The following are pronounced as a word: CAD (cardiovascular disease), MIRS (medical information referral system), RAM (Remote Area Medical), FEAP (Faculty and Employee Assistance Program).
  • On the first reference, spell out and put acronym in parenthesis. For example, Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic.

addresses When listing a full address, abbreviate Rd., St., Blvd., Pkwy., Ln., etc. Use N., S., E., W., NOT North, South, etc. Use postal abbreviations for states (e.g., VA, GA, FL).

age Always use figures for ages (e.g., The boy, 8, is...).

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Battle Building  Building where most outpatient children's clinics are located. In copy, refer to it as the "Battle Building at UVA Children's Hospital."

bimonthly One word, non-hyphenated.

Blue Ridge Poison Center NOT Blue Ridge Poison Control Center

bulleted lists

  • Lists that include complete sentences should end in appropriate punctuation. 
    • The physician gave new parents the following advice:
      • Babies should always sleep on their backs.
      • Toddlers should take at least one nap per day.
  • Lists that are comprised of fragmented sentences do not require punctuation after each bullet. 
    • The physician recommended that the patient eat the following after surgery:
      • One 8-oz. glass of water every two hours
      • One cup pureed fruit

business letters

  • Use block style (all elements flush left) or modified block (paragraphs in the body are indented).
  • Letter format/spacing:
    • Heading contains the date and then 2 hard returns
    • Inside address includes the name and address of the person to whom the letter is being sent and is followed by 2 hard returns
    • Salutation/greeting is always formal (usually beginning with “Dear”) and ends in a colon. Followed by 2 hard returns.
    • Body – skip a line between paragraphs and enter 2 hard returns between the body and the closing.
    • Complimentary close ends with a comma, followed by 2-3 hard returns between closing and signature line.
    • Signature should start directly above the signature line.

C top

CAD Acronym for coronary artery disease; pronounce as a word.

capitalization

  • Medical School department names are always capitalized (e.g., Department of Pediatrics).
  • divisions within a department are capitalized if it’s a proper name (e.g., Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery Division within the Department of Surgery).
  • disciplines are always lowercase (e.g., cardiology, psychiatry, pediatrics).
  • specialized centers are always capitalized (e.g., UVA Heart and Vascular Center, UVA Cancer Center).
  • primary care is lowercase except when it’s Primary Care Center.
  • Medical Center is always capitalized if referring to the UVA Medical Center and not medical centers in general. Can use ‘center’ on second reference if it’s clear you are referring to UVA Medical Center.
  • places/roads
    • U.S. 29, U.S. 33, U.S. 250, Interstate 64 (I-64 on second reference).
  • titles
    • Chair as a title is usually not capitalized and is not used preceding a name. (e.g., President John Casteen is correct; Chair William Jones is not correct).
    • Named or endowed professorships are always capitalized (e.g., William Jones, MD, Thomas Branton Harris Professor of Pediatric Medicine).
    • Nurse ranks or clinician levels are not capitalized (e.g., Judy Blanchett, RN, a clinician III, works in the Burn Center).
    • Professors are not capitalized (e.g., William Jones, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine).
    • Resident is not capitalized (e.g., Dr. William Jones, a second-year resident).
    • Fellow is not capitalized (e.g., Dr. William Jones, a visiting fellow in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery).

chair As a title is usually not capitalized and is not used preceding a name (e.g., President John Casteen is correct; Chair William Jones is not correct).

checkup is the noun

check up is the verb

Child Development and Rehabilitation Center Located in the Battle Building at UVA Children's Hospital. Services formerly offered by Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center.

Children’s Hospital Use UVA Children’s Hospital NOT UVA Children’s Medical Center.

co-chair

co-director

comorbidity

commas 

  • Do not use serial commas (e.g., She went skiing, snowboarding and sledding in a single afternoon).
  • Follow AP Stylebook usage.
  • No comma before Jr.

compound adjectives are always hyphenated (e.g., four-color capability, three-state area).

D top

dashes

  • Use em dashes with single spaces on either side for emphasis/pause in copy.
  • Use single dash without spaces for ranges (e.g., 2-4 p.m.).

dates

  • When listing dates, use the following format: week day, month day, year (e.g., Friday, January 1, 2009).
  • Spell out days of the week. However, day may be abbreviated if space is limited.
  • Do NOT use 1st, 2nd, third, etc. (e.g., Jan. 1, NOT Jan. 1st).

department names Always capitalized (e.g., Department of Pediatrics).

diabetes Type 1 or Type 2

Dining Conference Rooms 1, 2 or 3; NOT A, B or C.

disciplines Always lowercase (e.g., cardiology, psychiatry, pediatrics).

divisions Within a department are capitalized if it’s a proper name (e.g., Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery Division within the Department of Surgery).

Dr.

  • Do not use both Dr. and MD with a person’s name; it’s one or the other.
  • Dr. is generally used with consumer audiences only. Use MD for physician audiences. 
  • PhDs are not referred to as "Dr." at UVA, but in some situations you may have to use your own judgment.
  • It’s ok to refer to someone with an MD as "Dr." but do not refer to someone with an RN as "Nurse." (e.g., Dr. Jones but NOT Nurse Blanchett or Technologist Blanchett)

E top

email  

  • No hyphen in the word "email."
  • Do not break email addresses unless absolutely necessary and then only after a dot or "@"

Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center Use in reference to the physical building; otherwise use UVA Cancer Center.

everyday is the adjective

every day is the adverb

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FAAN No periods

FAACP No periods

FEAP Faculty and Employee Assistance Program

feet/foot Spell out; do not abbreviate unless space is tight.

fellow Not capitalized (e.g., Dr. William Jones, a visiting fellow in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery).

G top

Grounds Capitalize when referring to UVA Grounds.

H top

healthcare One word, NOT health care

Health System May be used as subsequent reference in internal publications for UVA Health System.

hyphens 

  • Refer to AP Stylebook and Merriam-Webster for usage.
  • Compound adjectives are always hyphenated (e.g., four-color capability, three-state area).
  • Some commonly misused words include:
    • bimonthly
    • cardiovascular
    • co-chair (or co-director)
    • comorbidity
    • email
    • healthcare
    • inpatient
    • online
    • outpatient
    • multicelled
    • multidiscipline
    • multistory
    • multi-image (two vowels together)
    • nonpaying
    • postgraduate
    • T-cell
    • Toll-free
    • Website
    • X-ray
    • -wide typically has no hyphen (ie. hospitalwide, industrywide, nationwide, universitywide, worldwide)
    • wide- typically does include a hyphen (ie. wide-eyed, wide-angle BUT widespread)

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inpatient no hyphen

internet Never capitalized

Interstate 64 I-64 on second reference

J top

jargon Avoid medical jargon when writing for a general audience (e.g., ambulatory, inpatient, outpatient).

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M top

maternal-fetal medicine NOT maternal fetal medicine or maternal/fetal medicine.

MD

  • No periods.
  • Use after a person’s name in first mention only; set off by commas (e.g., John Doe, MD, works in the...).
  • Do not use both Dr. and MD in a person’s name.
  • Ok to refer to someone with an MD as “Dr.”

Medical Center is always capitalized if referring to UVA Medical Center and not medical centers in general. Can be called the ‘center’ on second reference if it’s clear you’re referring to UVA Medical Center.

department names Always capitalized; use ‘school’ or ‘department’ on second reference (e.g., Department of Medicine).

months Spell out months that stand alone (e.g., September 2015), unless space is tight. Abbreviate months longer than six letters in dates (e.g., Jan. 1, 2014).

multicelled No hyphen

multidiscipline No hyphen

multi-image Two vowels together require hyphen.

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nicknames Do not use the following nicknames for locations: old hospital, multistory, Hospital West or Hospital East. Correct names are University Hospital and West Complex.

nurse

  • RN does not require periods; use in first reference only.
  • Ranks or clinician levels are not capitalized (e.g., Judy Blanchett, RN, a clinician III, works in the Burn Center.)
  • Do not refer to someone with an RN as “Nurse” (e.g., “Nurse Judy Blanchett” is incorrect).

numbers and quantities

  • Spell out one to nine; for 10 and over, use the numeral.
  • Use figures for all ages (e.g., The boy, 8, is...).
  • Percent is spelled out; do not use "%."
  • Avoid beginning sentences with number, but if you must: spell out numbers at the beginning of a sentence, except for years. (e.g., 1968 was a very good year, Fifty-six doctors...)
  • Abbreviate mg, g, ml, m, km, cm and mm, but spell out inch, feet, foot, yards and miles. Symbols may be used when space is tight (e.g., a 30’ x 40’ pool).
  • Phone/fax numbers
    • Use periods rather than hyphens in phone numbers (e.g., 434.990.8319).
    • Do not put area codes in parentheses.
    • Use parentheses for numbers like 434.924.DOCS (3627).
    • Different phone numbers are used for different audiences (e.g., for external audiences, Nurse Recruiting phone number is 866.RNS.4UVA, Physician Direct number is 800.552.3723 and Vim & Vigor is 888.882.9892.) 
  • Times
    • Standard, not military, except internally when the audience is nurses
    • Use periods for a.m. and p.m.; both lowercase.
    • Use noon for 12 p.m. and midnight for 12 a.m.
    • Use single dash to separate range (5-6 p.m.).
    • Do not use :00.

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OB-GYN Abbreviation for obstetrics and gynecology

orthopedics 

OT Occupational Therapy

outpatient No hyphen

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parking garages Proper names are Lee Street Garage and 11th Street Garage

percent Spell out; do not use %.

periods

  • Initials: in general, two initials take periods; three do not (e.g., U.S., FBI, T.S. Eliot, JFK). When in doubt, go with preference of person being identified.
  • Professional degrees with two letters usually take periods but we do not use them for internal publications (ie. MD, RN, PhD); three-letter degrees do not take periods (e.g., MPH, FAACP, MSN).
  • Use periods for a.m. and p.m.
  • One space (not two) after period that ends a sentence.

phone/fax numbers

  • Use periods rather than hyphens in phone numbers (e.g., 434.990.8319).
  • Do not put area code in parentheses
  • Use parentheses for numbers like 434.924.DOCS (3627).
  • Different phone numbers are used for different audiences (e.g., for external audiences, Nurse Recruiting phone number is 866.RNS.4UVA, Physician Direct number is 800.552.3723 and Vim & Vigor is 888.882.9892.)

Piedmont Capitalize

PO Box No periods

postgraduate No hyphen

primary care Lowercase except when referring to Primary Care Center.

professor    

  • Professors are not capitalized (e.g., William Jones, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine).
  • We seldom use professor ranks before a name as a title, although it is not incorrect (e.g., “An associate professor in the Department of Surgery, Susan Jones, PhD, designed a program …” vs. “Associate Professor Susan Jones, PhD”
  • Named or endowed professorships are always capitalized (e.g., William Jones, MD, Thomas Branton Harris Professor of Pediatric Medicine).

Q top

quotes Put punctuation inside quote marks (e.g., “I love pizza,” says John).

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RAM Acronym for Remote Area Medical clinic.

resident Not capitalized (e.g., Dr. William Jones, a second-year resident).

runner-up or runners-up Use hyphen

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seasons Lowercase spring, summer, winter, fall or springtime, wintertime, etc., unless part of a proper noun like Winter Olympics.

second-rate Use hyphen

selfAlways hyphenate (e.g., self-assured, self-defense).

set up (verb) and setup (noun and adjective)

spacing Use only one space after a period, colon or semicolon.

specialized centers  Always capitalized (e.g., UVA Heart and Vascular Center, UVA Cancer Center, UVA Children’s Hospital).

statewide No hyphen

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T-cell Use hyphen

time

Standard, not military, except internally when the audience is nurses

Use periods for a.m. and p.m.; both lowercase.

Use noon for 12 p.m. and midnight for 12 a.m.

Use single dash to separate range (5-6 p.m.).

Do not use :00.

titles

  • Chair as a title is usually not capitalized and is not used preceding a name (e.g., President John Casteen is correct; Chair William Jones is not correct).
  • Named or endowed professorships are always capitalized. (e.g., William Jones, MD, Thomas Branton Harris Professor of Pediatric Medicine).
  • Nurse ranks or pay grades are not capitalized (e.g., Judy Blanchett, RN, a clinician III, works in the Burn Center.)
  • Professors are not capitalized (e.g., William Jones, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine.)
  • Resident is not capitalized (e.g., Dr. William Jones, a second-year resident).
  • Fellow is not capitalized (e.g., Dr. William Jones, a visiting fellow in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery).

Toll-free Use hyphen

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UVA Cancer Center Use Emily Couric Clinic Cancer Center when referring to the building. Otherwise, use UVA Cancer Center.

UVA Health System 

  • Use UVA or UVA Health System NOT UVa, U.Va. or UVAHS
UVA Heart and Vascular Center Spell out "and." Use "&" only in the logo or if space is tight.

W top

websites Do not include http:// or www (e.g., uvahealth.com), unless you cannot navigate to the page without entering them. All letters in web addresses are lowercase, unless using lowercase might cause confusion.

consumer sites

uvahealth.com
cancer.uvahealth.com
heart.uvahealth.com 
neuro.uvahealth.com
childrens.uvahealth.com 
clubreduva.com

Social Media

uvahealth.com/blog

facebook.com/uvahealth

twitter.com/uvahealthnews

School of Medicine

medicine.virginia.edu

West Compex Do not use old hospital or hospital west.

-wide typically has no hyphen (e.g., hospitalwide, industrywide, nationwide, universitywide, worldwide).

wide- typically does include a hyphen (e.g., wide-eyed, wide-angle BUT widespread).

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