This guide is designed to allow Loma Linda University Health to consistently follow a single written style, unifying our internal and external communications, including publications, newsletters, articles, webpages, fliers and posters.

We realize certain media (video, billboards, ads, social media, etc.) may necessitate special styles due to space considerations. Please submit any such examples to pr@llu.edu so we may consider these cases for future updates.

A number of the guidelines appear in more than one section to accommodate the different places people will think to check first.

This style closely follows that of the Associated Press. For more information about AP Style, email pr@llu.edu.

Exceptions to AP Style are noted by *


Table of contents


Abbreviations and acronyms

  • Academic degrees*: No periods are used within abbreviations of academic degrees or clinical certifications. Academic degrees precede certifications and are used on first reference only. Master's degrees and above should be noted on first reference of a person or — if a person has numerous degrees and certifications — include the most relevant ones to the topic (consult said person).
    Example: Tara Jeffries, MS, RN, has joined the faculty at the School of Nursing. Jeffries most recently worked at the University of Southern California.
  • Acceptable generally used abbreviations: e.g., i.e., a.m., p.m., P.O. Box, U.S., Washington, D.C. use periods in between the letters.
  • Addresses: Spell out Drive, Avenue, Street, Boulevard, Road, etc., unless  a specific street number is given. Spell out North, South, East and West unless a street number is given. Spell out state names in full unless a complete address is given, including zip code. In that case, use the two- letter postal abbreviation for the state. P.O. Box has periods after P and O, and Box is capitalized.
    Example: Turn left on South Washington Boulevard, and you will see 216 N. Jefferson Rd. on the right.
    Example: Mail your responses to 123 Pine St., Loma Linda, CA 92354.
    Example: She lives in Spokane, Washington.
  • Dates: Months are spelled out in full unless a specific date is included.
    Example: She finished her degree requirements in August, but did not graduate until Dec. 20, 2017.
    Note: March, April, May, June and July are never abbreviated.
  • LLU: Acceptable in all references, including first.
  • LLUH or LLU Health: Not acceptable, even in parentheses after a first full reference. Loma Linda University Health is always spelled out in full.      
  • Other organizational acronyms or abbreviations: Other organizational acronyms or abbreviations are rarely acceptable, except in tables to preserve alignment. While such acronyms may be familiar to some, other people are unfamiliar with them, and they create an unsightly alphabet soup effect in text. See Organizational names and acceptable abbreviations section at the end of this document.
  • Seventh-day Adventist: Abbreviate as Adventist on second reference (not SDA)
  • State names: Spell out in full unless a complete address is given, including zip code. In that case, use the two-letter postal abbreviation for the state.
  • Units of measure: Spell out, except when referencing digital file sizes, or in lists, tables and recipes.
    Example: The file is 12 MB.
    Example: The package weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces.
  • U.S.: Acceptable for United States

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Capitalization

  • Academic degrees: Capitalize formal degree names, but not shortened degree references.
    Example: She has a Master of Science in Earth Sciences, and this master's degree helped her get a job.
    Note: In informal references to disciplines, such as "She studies chemistry," the discipline name is not capitalized.
  • Academic programs*: Capitalize formal names of academic programs such as "Communication Sciences and Disorders Program."
    Note: In informal references to disciplines, such as "She studies biology," the discipline name is not capitalized.
  • Article and presentation names:  Capitalize and present within quotation marks.
    Example: Glen Mays, PhD, gave a presentation titled "Building a Culture of Health" at the 2016 Healthy People in Healthy Communities conference.
  • Board of Trustees*: Capitalize Board of Trustees for Loma Linda University Health entities when the whole term is used, but lowercase "board" and "trustees" when either term stands alone. Lowercase the board names of other organizations.
  • Clinics: Lowercase clinic names, which are usually part of a larger department.
    Example: She visited the international travel clinic at the Center for Health Promotion.
  • Committees, programs, projects, initiatives and conferences: Capitalize the words "committee," "program," "project," "initiative" and "conference" only if part of the formal name. On subsequent references, lowercase these words when they stand alone (e.g., "the committee").
    Example: For Project NOWW, capitalize the word "Project" as part of the title. For the Campus Transformation project, lowercase the word "project," which is not part of the title.
  • Course names: Lowercase
  • Department names*: Capitalize formal names of departments, but on subsequent references to "the department," the "d" is lowercased.
    Example: The Department of Pharmacy Practice is in the School of Pharmacy. The department has seven faculty members.
    Note: The School of Public Health no longer has departments; it calls them centers. The same rule applies.
  • Events: Capitalize names of events when they are a formal title.
    Example:  The annual Believe Walk takes place in October.
  • Organizational names: Capitalize names of our hospitals, schools, centers and institutes. But on shortened references, such as "the center" or "the institute," lowercase the first letter.
    Note: See the "abbreviations and acronyms" section for acceptable abbreviations of organizational names.
  • Medical conditions: Capitalize only when named after a person or place.
    Example: She has Alzheimer's disease and diabetes.
  • Occupational titles: Lowercase these titles, such as nurse.
  • Professional titles: Capitalize only before a person's name.
    Example: The award was presented by President Richard Hart of Loma Linda University Health to Ron Carter, PhD, provost of Loma Linda University.
  • Seventh-day Adventist: The "d" in "day" is lowercased.
  • To make man whole: When using the motto in a sentence, capitalize only the T in "To" and put quotation marks around the phrase.
    Example: The faculty of Loma Linda University embrace the motto "To make man whole."
  • X-ray (not x-ray)

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Headlines, headings and subheads

  • Capitalization: Only capitalize the first word (and proper nouns).
  • Length: Be brief.
  • Numbers: All numbers should be given in numerals.
  • Punctuation:
    • No closing punctuation should be used.
    • Use single quotation marks when needed.
    • Example headline: President calls new LLU research discovery a 'breakthrough'

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Organizational names and acceptable abbreviations

The following table is a list of entity names at Loma Linda University Health: schools, centers, institutes and hospitals. On first references, an entity's full name should be given (though it may be acceptable to omit the preceding "Loma Linda University" in contexts where it's understood). On second and subsequent references, the abbreviations listed below are acceptable (acronyms are rarely acceptable but noted).

Note: When an organizational name contains a dash, it should be an en () dash with a space on either side, e.g., Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta.

Note: When referencing multiple schools, centers, hospitals or institutes, spell out the full names on second and subsequent mentions as necessary to avoid confusion.

Academics

Entity Abbreviation
Loma Linda University LLU
School of Allied Health Professions the school (not SAHP)
School of Behavioral Health the school (not SBH)
School of Dentistry the school (not SD)
School of Medicine the school (not SM)
School of Nursing the school (not SN)
School of Pharmacy the school (not SP)
School of Public Health the school (not SPH)
School of Religion the school (not SR)
Loma Linda University Health – San Bernardino San Bernardino campus
San Manuel Gateway College (This is always to be listed in full as "San Manuel Gateway College" — never just Gateway College.) the college

Centers — academic or research

(These names aren't yet finalized.)

Institutes — non-clinical

(These names aren't yet finalized.)

Healthcare

Hospitals

Entity Abbreviation
Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center the center, the hospital
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital Children's Hospital, LLU Children's Hospital or the hospital (not LLUCH)
Loma Linda University Medical Center (Do not refer to this as University Hospital or Adult Hospital. These are not legal names, and they muddy our branding.) the Medical Center or LLU Medical Center (not LLUMC)
Loma Linda University Medical Center East Campus East Campus
Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta Medical Center – Murrieta, Murrieta campus, Murrieta hospital, the hospital
Loma Linda University Surgical Hospital Surgical Hospital, the hospital

Clinical institutes

(These names aren't yet finalized.)

Clinical centers

(These names aren't yet finalized.)

Outpatient facilities

Entity Abbreviation
Loma Linda University Faculty Medical Offices the Faculty Medical Offices
Loma Linda University Professional Plaza the Professional Plaza
Loma Linda University Health Beaumont-Banning  

Medical umbrella groups/names

These names should rarely, if ever, be used in external communications; our brand is Loma Linda University Health.

Entity Abbreviation
Loma Linda University Faculty Dental Practices the faculty practices, the practices
Loma Linda University Faculty Medical Group the medical group, the group
Loma Linda University Health Care LLU Health Care

Student groups

Entity Abbreviation
African Network the network, the group
Association of Latin American Students the association, the group
Black Health Professional Student Association the association, the group
Community-Academic Partners in Service CAPS
Loma Linda University Student Association the association
Student National Medical Association the association, the group
Students for International Mission Service SIMS

Organizations we work with closely

Entity Abbreviation
Adventist Health International AHI
SAC Health System (SAC is part of the official name and logo. It does not need to be spelled out as "Social Action Community Health System.") SAC Health System, SAC, the system

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Loma Linda-isms

  • Blue Zone®: This term is not to be used without using the correct crediting language below. It should be used with the ® symbol in superscript except in headlines.
    Correct description: Loma Linda was declared a Blue Zone® in Dan Buettner's November 2005 cover story for National Geographic. The term refers to areas of the world with the longest life expectancy.
    Example: Loma Linda is the only Blue Zone®  in the United States. It was declared one by Dan Buettner's November 2005 cover story for National Geographic. The term refers to areas of the world with the longest life expectancy.
  • Board of Trustees*: Capitalize Board of Trustees for Loma Linda University Health entities when the whole term is used, but lowercase "board" and "trustees" when either term stands alone. Lowercase the board names of other organization.
  • Campus Transformation: Campus Transformation is part of Vision 2020 – The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow, but it only refers to the construction of the new hospital towers.
  • CLEAR Whole Person Care® Model: This is the name for the whole person conversation model developed by Loma Linda University Health to be used in patient care and regular conversation. Use the ® symbol after the word "Care."
  • CLEAR is an acronym for Connect, Listen, Explore, Acknowledge, Respond.
  • Subsets of the CLEAR model are GRETE® and the SOUL Spiritual History® Tool. Use the ä symbol with GRETE, and the ® symbol after the word "History."
  • SOUL is an acronym for Sources of strength, Outlook on religion and beliefs, Underlying life events/changes, Links to care. It is part of the Explore step in CLEAR.
  • GRETE is an acronym for Greet with kindness, Recognize and introduce, Explain purpose, Time: provide timeframe, Engage and invite response. It is part of the Connect step in CLEAR.
  • Deans Council/Joint Officers Deans Council: No apostrophe is necessary for the word "Deans." It is a council of deans, not a council belonging to the deans.
  • Level I trauma center: Capitalize the L in “Level” but not “trauma center.” Use the Roman numeral — I — rather than the number.     
  • Meat, alcohol and caffeine: In general, these should not be promoted. In some instances, Adventist Health Study research has shown certain types of fish to be beneficial to cardiovascular health, in which case it can be described as one way to benefit health.        
  • Mission: "to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ."
    Example: Many graduates of Loma Linda University adopt its mission and strive to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ in their careers.
  • Mission-focused Learning: This is a broader term than Service-Learning (see below). Mission-focused Learning refers to the educational philosophy as a whole at LLU.
  • Motto "To make man whole": When using the motto, "To make man whole," in a sentence, capitalize only the T in "To" and put quotation marks around the phrase.
  • One Loma Linda: Do not use in external communications.
  • President's Committee: Use the singular possessive.
  • Saturday/Sabbath: Use Saturday except when referring to spiritual programs, in which case Sabbath is acceptable.
  • Sculpture (not statue) is the appropriate term for campus artistic figures.
    Example: This Is the Very Place is the newest sculpture on campus.
  • Service-Learning: Loma Linda University Health defines this as so: "Service-Learning is a structured learning experience that combines community engagement with academic preparation, reflection and ongoing assessment." It is used in reference to specific academic curricula. See differentiation from "Mission-focused Learning" above.
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church: This is the correct usage for capitalization and punctuation of the name of the denomination that owns and operates Loma Linda University Health. Abbreviate as Adventist (not SDA).
  • Wholeness, defined by Loma Linda University Health as: "Loved by God, growing in health, living with purpose in community."
  • Whole person care: Do not use any hyphens in this term.

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Numbers

  • Ages: Ages are always given in numerals. Use hyphens when age is used as an adjective or noun. Do not use hyphens when age follows a "to be" verb.
    Example: The 6-year-old's father is 39 years old.
  • One through nine are spelled out.
    Exception: Ages are always numerals. Exception: Always use numerals preceding units of measurement.
  • 10 and above are numerals.
  • Phone numbers: Use dashes. Omit the prefix "1" from 800 numbers.
    Example: 909-558-4000 or 877-558-6248.
  • Phone extensions: Abbreviate as "ext.," but in external communications, do not use without full number.
  • Times: If a time is on the hour, no zeroes are necessary. 12 p.m. can be referenced as noon. Exception: In tables, use zeroes as necessary to fit formatting.

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Pronouns

  • "They" vs. "it" in referencing entities: The correct pronoun to describe an entity is "it."
    Example: The School of Behavioral Health offers multiple degrees and programs. It was previously named the School of Science and Technology.
  • Who/whom: "Who" is the subject of a sentence, clause or phrase; "whom" is only used as the object of a verb or a prepositional phrase.
    Note: People and animals with names should not be referred to with "that."
  • Singular vs. plural: When describing people, the pronoun must match the noun in numbers. Do not always default to the male pronoun.
    Example: A professor is an authority in his or her subject matter.
    Example: Students in the School of Medicine can earn a PhD or a MD. In either case, they will study in an atmosphere of mission-focused learning.

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Punctuation

  • Comma, serial/oxford: Only use when necessary to avoid confusion.
  • Comma use with essential and nonessential clauses: A dependent clause essential to the intended meaning in a sentence is not set off by commas. Nonessential dependent clauses are set off by commas. These rules also apply to titles; see that section (page 14). Example: Students of all religions attend chapel. ("Of all religions" is essential to the meaning of the sentence, therefore no commas are around it.)
    Example: All students, whether they want to or not, are required to take religion courses. ("Whether they want to or not" adds emphasis but doesn't change the meaning of the sentence. Therefore, the phrase is set off with commas.)    
    Note: Also see "That vs. which" in the "Odds and ends" section of this Guide.
  • Dashes in sentences*: Use em dashes (—) to set apart phrases within a sentence where commas would be unclear. Put a space on either side of the em dash. However, en dashes (–) are used in names of Loma Linda entities. See "Organizational names" section.
    Example: John Doe, MD, PhD — who is from Detroit, Michigan — teaches biology, anatomy and physiology.
    Example: She works at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta.
  • Exclamation mark: Use sparingly.
  • Hyphens in ages: Use hyphens when age is used as an adjective or noun. Do not use hyphens when age follows a "to be" verb.
    Example: The 6-year-old's father is 39 years old.

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Titles

(job titles, events, groups, initiatives, artwork, publications, etc.)

Some general notes:

Commas: When a title can only refer to one thing/work, commas are used before and after its name. When a title is unknown or unclear because it is one of more, there are no commas around it.

  • Example: Emily Bronte published her only book, Wuthering Heights, just one year before she died. Her sister Charlotte, however, published three novels during her lifetime, the first one being Jane Eyre.

"Title" vs. "entitle." Title is correct. Do not use entitled, which means having a right or claim to something (or the attitude that one does).

  • Article and presentation titles:  Capitalize and present within quotation marks.
    Example: Glen Mays, PhD, gave a presentation titled "Building a Culture of Health" at the 2016 Healthy People in Healthy Communities conference.
  • Artwork (campus sculptures):* Italicize.
  • Committees, programs, projects, initiatives and conferences: Capitalize the words "committee," "program," "project," "initiative" and "conference" only if part of the formal name. On subsequent references, lowercase these words when they stand alone (e.g., "the committee").
    Example: For Project NOWW, capitalize the word "Project" as part of the title. For the Campus Transformation project, lowercase the word "project," which is not part of the title.
  • Event titles: Capitalize names of events when they are a formal title. When referencing an annual event, lowercase the ordinal number (spelled out) as well as the word "annual."
    Example:  The third annual Believe Walk takes place in October.   
  • Occupational titles: Lowercase these titles, such as nurse. 
  • Professional titles: Capitalize only before a person's name.
    Example: The award was presented by President Richard Hart of Loma Linda University Health to Ron Carter, provost, Loma Linda University.
  • Publication/composition/artwork/game titles*:  Italicize book titles, computer/video game titles, movie titles, opera titles, play titles, short story and poem titles, album and song titles, radio and television program titles, and the titles of works of art. (But article and speech titles are surrounded by quotations.)
    Example: The article titled "Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers" appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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Vision 2020 – The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow

  • Full campaign description: A $360 million comprehensive fundraising campaign to support priorities in clinical care, education, research and wholeness. Vision 2020 is the largest philanthropic initiative in the history of Loma Linda University Health and represents the largest investment in healthcare and education in the Inland Empire.
  • Condensed versions for brief pitches:
    Vision 2020 is your opportunity to transform the way we teach, heal and serve.  
    and
    Transform the health of our world through education, healing and service. Be a part of the vision.
  • Campaign first reference: There are two ways to introduce the campaign within copy.
    • State the full campaign name: Vision 2020 – The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow. On subsequent references, Vision 2020 may stand alone.
      Example:  Vision 2020 – The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow launched in 2014. More than half of the fundraising goal for Vision 2020 has been met.
    • Precede the campaign name with the following descriptive explanation: "Loma Linda University Health is in the midst of a comprehensive fundraising campaign effort called Vision 2020."
  • Campaign subsequent references: Vision 2020 may stand alone.               
  • Give Now. Build Hope. This local community awareness and giving campaign invites individuals, corporations, clubs and churches to give back to Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in a way meaningful to them through Vision 2020.
    • Language for inviting involvement via Give Now. Build Hope.:
      • The best way to get involved on a regular basis is a monthly gift of $20.20. To set up your reoccurring donation visit GiveVision2020.org and click "Give Now."
  • Order of entities mentioned: When writing about Vision 2020, Loma Linda University Health should be the first entity mentioned. The campaign's impact on specific entities cannot be stated first.
    Example: Vision 2020 – The Campaign for a Whole Tomorrow will transform Loma Linda University Health. Donors' generosity, for example, will create new scholarships for students in the School of Nursing.         

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Odds and ends

  • Cliches: Cliched phrases should be avoided. If you use them anyway, please don't draw attention to them: do not use quotation marks around them.  
  • Email: One word, no hyphen.
  • Emphasis: Do not use all caps or different colored letters for emphasis. Use italics and boldface very sparingly for emphasis. Short phrases or words only.    
  • Healthcare: One word.
  • Links/URLs:   Do not spell out in online articles unless you specifically want to draw attention to the address. Instead, link associated descriptive text to the webpage.
  • Scientific names of species*: Italicize.
    Example: E. coli
  • That vs. which: Use "that" preceding clauses essential to the intended meaning of the sentence. No comma. Use "which" preceding clauses that provide information nonessential to the meaning. A comma always precedes "which."
    Example: Loma Linda University Health, which is in California, has eight schools and six hospitals that continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.
    Note: Also see "Comma use with essential and nonessential clauses" in the "Punctuation" section of this guide.
  • Trademarks: Do not use trademark symbols unless referencing Blue Zone® or CLEAR Whole Person Care® model (see respective entries under "Loma Linda-isms"). Capitalize trademarked names, but use a generic equivalent when possible.
    Example: Loma Linda University Health uses the da Vinci Surgical System in robotic surgery.
  • Verb tense for attributing quotes: Use the past tense (said or wrote) when attributing quotes to individuals. Verbs other than "said" should be kept to a minimum; they tend to draw attention to themselves and detract from the content.
  • website: one word, lowercase.
  • X-ray (not x-ray)

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