Our Brand

Use of Name

Media & PR






Writing and Style Guidelines

(Last Revised April 24, 2024)

Use the Associated Press Stylebook and Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary as the standard for style, punctuation, spelling preference, hyphenation, etc. The listing below reflects a few departures from Associated Press (AP) style typically used in Johns Hopkins’ web and print text, as well as other style points that, while they are not departures from AP style, require special attention. Also, please note that ads, brochures and legal contracts may require some deviation from these guidelines.


acronyms Use an acronym only if there is a second reference or if the acronym is commonly used instead of the words it stands for. In either case, the acronym should appear in parentheses after the word(s) spelled out in the first reference — exceptions from AP Stylebook include FBI and CIA, which are acronyms that do not need to be spelled out. Do not capitalize the words from which an acronym is derived (intensive care unit, ICU; computed tomography, CT; magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) unless it is a proper noun.



Affordable Care Act

African American (not hyphenated)

aftercare One word, per Webster’s New World College Dictionary and the Associated Press

ages Use numerals (a 5-year-old boy; John Smith was 30; a man in his 20s; a 2-hour-old infant)

alcohol use disorder, person with alcohol use disorder 

all right

Alzheimer’s disease

ampersand Do not use as a substitute for the word and unless it is part of an official name (AT&TU.S. News & World Report). Do not use an ampersand in the name of a Johns Hopkins division or department.

anticancer An exception to AP’s rule that most words with the prefix anti are hyphenated. (See the AP Stylebook for other exceptions.) 

area code Use a hyphen, not parentheses, to separate from the rest of a phone number (410-955-2902).

attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder



bacteria Italicize names of bacteria in material primarily aimed at the scientific community, such as content for physicians. Names of bacteria should not be italicized in web material, press releases or other public-facing writing.

Baltimore City 

Baltimore City Hospitals Former name of what is now Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center — when Johns Hopkins bought City Hospitals, the name changed for a while to Francis Scott Key Medical Center before becoming Bayview


biopsy The procedure of removing and examining tissue, cells or fluids from a living body. Do not use as a verb. Observations are made on the biopsy specimen, not on the biopsy itself.

Right: A biopsy of the mass was performed.

Wrong: The mass was biopsied.

Right: Results of the biopsy were negative.

Wrong: The biopsy was negative.



blue baby lowercase 

board certified, board-certified Use board certified after a verb. She is board certified in surgery. Use board-certified as an adjective before a noun. She is a board-certified surgeon.

board of trustees, the board, the trustees, a trustee


captions Such terms as top, bottom, left, right, above, below, from left or clockwise from left usually precede the words or names identifying the object or person. Use commas, not colons. With a group of people, begin with from left. With two people, the person on the left is generally indicated: Bill Jones, left, and Bob Smith, unless clear: Bill Jones and Mary Smith.


check up (v.) The nurse will check up on the patient next week.

checkup (n.) The patient will come for a checkup next week.

child care, child care center

cocktail Do not use the word cocktail to refer to a mixture of drugs. Instead, use drug combination, or simply drugs or medications.


compared with, compared to Compared with should be used when juxtaposing two or more items to illustrate similarities or differences. Compared to should only be used when two or more items are similar. 

comprise A transitive verb that means to contain, to include all, to embrace; it takes a direct object.

Right: The United States comprises 50 states.

Right: The United States is composed of 50 states.

Wrong: The United States is comprised of 50 states.

co-opted Not coopted.


Corporation Contrary to AP style, spell this word out when part of a name, including The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation.


course names Contrary to Associated Press style, capitalize names of academic courses (for example: Current Events in Biology I). Do not capitalize descriptions of courses. (She completed a course about biology current events.)


cure Be cautious in use of this term: Only use if verified as medically accurate by sources. If disease may recur, do not use.


data A plural noun that, contrary to AP, normally takes a plural verb and plural pronoun (these data show). (Medical and scientific journals nearly always consider the word to be plural.)

dates Use AP style.

The event will occur on Dec. 25, 2022, at 4 p.m.

The building will be completed in December 2022.

Spell out months in dates when in a formatted list. 

day care, day care center 

dean’s office

degrees (academic) Lowercase and spell out (master’s degree in public health). Common abbreviations: M.D., Ph.D., M.A., Sc.D., M.B.A. (note that a comma is used after each degree in a series). Do not use degrees after names in social media posts or most internal material.

Democratic Republic of Congo Contrary to Associated Press style, do not refer to the country as Congo on second reference (per the preference of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control)     

Department of Emergency Medicine


Down syndrome

Dr. It is seldom used before a name. Exceptions include social media posts when appropriate, physician bios, material for Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, and internal, first-person emails in which the writer wants to refer to someone as Dr. NEVER use both Dr. and a doctoral degree with a name.

drop-down menu

drug use disorder, person with drug use disorder


Eastern Shore

editor-in-chief, physician-in-chief, surgeon-in-chief



emergency department, emergency room Lowercase and spell out on first reference. ED or ER are OK on second reference. Use emergency room only for external material.


Epic Epic is the name of the electronic medical record software used by health care providers at Johns Hopkins. It is not an acronym.

Epic physician champion

eradicate Do not use when talking about cancer.

esthetic dentistry

etc. Set off with commas. (Donor livers, hearts, kidneys, etc., are needed.)


face mask Two words

FDA-approved Hyphenate in all instances. 

Fell’s Point

follow up (v.) The doctor will follow up with the patient next week.

follow-up (n.) The study included a six-month follow-up.

follow-up (adj.) The patient’s follow-up appointment is next week.

Francis Scott Key Medical Center (former name of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center)

full-time (adj.) He has a full-time job.

full time (adv.) He works full time.

fundraiser, fundraising

We hired a fundraiser.

We held a fundraiser.

We started a fundraising campaign.

Fundraising is difficult.


gender affirmation No hyphen, including as a compound adjective, unless needed for clarity.

gender identity Use a person’s preferred gender identity. (See “pronoun preference.”)


Grand Rounds

Greater Baltimore

Green Spring Station

Gulf Region See the Persian Gulf entry. 

Gyn/Ob OK on first reference. Not all uppercase (GYN/OB).


half Use one and one-half in formal or scientific context; one and a half in more conversational contexts.



headlines Uppercase the first and last words and all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions with five letters or more, adverbs, demonstratives (this, that, etc.) and subordinating conjunctions (if, because, as, that, etc.). Articles and coordinating conjunctions, prepositions four letters or fewer, with and to are lowercase. With hyphenated words, first elements are always capitalized; subsequent elements are capitalized unless they are articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions: (Twentieth-Century Literature, Out-of-Fashion Initiatives, A Run-in with Authorities, but Avoiding a Run-In, because in is the last word in the title).

For subheads that are full sentences or questions in web material, capitalize only the first word.

If quotation marks are required in a headline, use single quotation marks.

Italics are OK to use in headlines.

Do not use a period at the end of a headline nor at the end of decks in press releases.

health care Two words in all contexts unless the words are closed up in a proper noun (Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare):

Health care is costly.

Health care costs are rising.

Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center — Green Spring Station

HIPAA On first reference, spell out Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) except in internal communications — HIPAA is acceptable in all uses internally.

historic, historical Precede with a, not an 


house staff Two words in nearly all instances. Use housestaff only in content for Aequanimitas and its audience — Aequanimitas is a publication for the Department of Medicine’s Osler Medical Service.


Inc. Do not precede with a comma. (J.C. Penney Co. Inc. has announced ... )

infinitives Splitting is acceptable, though not preferable. Sometimes splitting is necessary. (She expected the nurses’ salaries to more than double in the coming decade.)

Innovation 2023 Do not italicize or place in quotes the name of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s current strategic plan. 

in utero, in vitro, in vivo Do not italicize.

intensive care unit Spell out on first reference.

internet, the net, intranet

italics Do not use italics in social media.

IV Acceptable only on second reference for intravenous (contrary to AP)


Johns Hopkins Not “Hopkins” unless part of a quote or in first-person writing such as a letter or blog

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center the does not precede the full name. However, include the in the Children’s Center

The Joint Commission Capitalize The (Johns Hopkins is accredited by The Joint Commission). Not The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Spell out in first reference, but per the Associated Press Stylebook, use JAMA for specialty journals (JAMA Internal Medicine).

Jr. Do not precede with a comma. John Jones Jr. was named the director.


Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center Note that a comma is used before and after Jr.

LGBT, LGBTQ Per the Associated Press, acceptable in all references for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenderor for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and/or queer. See the “LGBT, LGBTQ” entry in the Associated Press Stylebook for more guidance. 


like Contrary to Associated Press style, use a hyphen before this suffix.

lists, bulleted lists Use bullets in most cases (not dashes), and follow the Associated Press Stylebook with one exception: Use a period at the end of an item only if it is a complete sentence.

log-in, log-on, log-off (adj.) Use your log-on name.

log in, log on, log off (v.) Use your password when you log on.


Marfan syndrome

marijuana Generally use the word marijuana, but pot and cannabis are acceptable. See the “marijuana, medical marijuana” entry in the Associated Press Stylebook for more guidance regarding marijuana.  



M.D./Ph.D. program


medical jargon According to the American Medical Association style manual, words or phrases that are peculiar to conversations among medical personnel (left chest, right heart) are inappropriate in scientific writing.

Right: The patient received a heart transplant.

Wrong: The patient was transplanted.

Medicare for All Per the Associated Press, use quote marks for the first reference.   

medications Capitalize the marketed name (Belviq). Lowercase the generic, or chemical, name (lorcaserin). The trademark symbol is not needed.

millions Regarding a range, use million after each number. The program will cost $12 million to $14 million.



naive No umlaut, per the Associated Press 

NIH Spell out in first reference (National Institutes of Health). When using the abbreviation NIH, the is not needed.

Nobel Prize Contrary to AP style, capitalize the area in which the prize is awarded (Nobel Prize in Chemistry).


numbers Spell out one through nine, and use figures for 10 and up.


Ages are always figures. The house is 1 year old. The girl is 15 years old. The 101-year-old rule.   

Percents and percentages are always figures (7%, 8.5%, 100%, 4 percentage points).

For a range, use the percent sign after both the first and second number (10% to 22%).

Weights are always figures. The baby weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces. The nurse gave the patient a 10 milligram dose of acetaminophen.   

See the Associated Press Stylebook for other exceptions.


obstetrics and gynecology See the Gyn/Ob entry.

OK Not okay

on-call (adj.); on call (adv.) The on-call nurse is not on call today.

one-on-one Not 1:1


open-heart surgery

operating room


Osler Medical Residency Training Program

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Use an en dash, not a hyphen, in reference to the name of the Johns Hopkins department and to the field of medicine.


Parkinson’s disease 

patient- and family-centered care


percent Use the % sign, without a space.

Persian Gulf Per the Associated Press, use this name for the body of water. An exception is in material for Johns Hopkins Medicine International (JHMI), which calls it the Gulf Region due to a disagreement in the Middle East about the name. Whenever possible in JHMI material, avoiding using any name. (The boat sailed from Saudi Arabia and across the gulf to Iran.)

PGY-1, PGY-2, PGY-3, etc. Use hyphens and Arabic, not Roman, numerals (2, not II) to abbreviate postgraduate years of study.

phase I, phase II, phase III trial



phone numbers Use a hyphen to separate the area code from the number: 410-955-1500.

physician-scientist Hyphenate as a noun phrase or compound modifier.

postdoctoral, postdoc

premedical, premed


preventive Not preventative

principal investigator

pronouns Use the pronoun that the subject uses or requests. Per Associated Press style, when using they/them/their as a singular pronoun, explain if it isn’t clear in the context. (Smith, who uses the pronoun they, said they are grateful for the treatment they received at Johns Hopkins.) Use a plural verb with theythem or their. Also per the Associated Press, don’t assume a person’s pronouns based on their first name. If a pronoun is not specified or if a gender is not known, avoid pronouns if possible.

Johns Hopkins Proton Therapy Center

provider/providers Avoid using these terms to refer to a physician or a group of physicians. When referring to a group that includes physicians and other clinical team members in running copy, aim to be specific. ExampleOtolaryngologists, nurses and nurse practitioners collaborate in the clinic. Alsoavoid using the term advanced practice providers as a catch-all. 


rankings Contrary to Associated Press style, use #1#2, etc., not No. 1 or No. 2. 

road map

row house




sickle cell disease Be aware that there is a treatment but no cure.


so called (adv.) The bigwig, so called because he had the corner office. …

so-called (adj.) The so-called bigwig had the corner office.

Do not use quotation marks (the so-called “bigwig” or the “so-called” bigwig)

staff A singular noun. Use staff members when with another, plural noun. (staff members and students)

state abbreviations Write out the names of all states, including when with a city (St. Petersburg, Florida). An exception is in a dateline (HarrisburgPa.). Use two-letter postal abbreviations (MD, CT, TN) only in mailing addresses.

state of Maryland The state name alone is usually all that is needed. When state of …  is used, do not capitalize state

substance use disorder, person with substance use disorder

SuccessFactors No space

suffer Do not say a person suffers from a diseasesuffered with or is suffering with a disease, etc. Use neutral language, such as has a disease


surgical-site infection


time Follow AP style (9 a.m.10:30 p.m.).

time frame 

time sheet 

titles of compositions Use italics for titles of books (exceptions: holy books such as the Bible and the Quran; reference material including dictionaries, encyclopedias and almanacs), pamphlets, periodicals and newspapers, movies, radio and television programs, podcasts, poems, plays and operas, works of art, computer and video games, prayers, report titles, exhibitions, speeches and other presentations, blog titles, and albums and long musical compositions. Use quotation marks for titles of articles, book chapters, television show episodes and song titles. Software and mobile app names, and website names should be in standing caps.


touch screen (n.), touch-screen (adj.) 

town hall Capitalize when following a Johns Hopkins name, such as: Johns Hopkins Medicine Town Hall. Lowercase in other uses, such as: The town hall will start at 5 p.m.


type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes Not Type I or Type II



URL Do not underline a URL. Never include http:// in a URL, and do not include www. if the address works without it.

United States or U.S. (n. or adj.) But US in headlines (no periods)

U.S. News & World Report

  1. “America’s Best... ” should always be in quotes.
  2. The rankings are only for The Johns Hopkins Hospital (not the Health System, not Johns Hopkins Medicine, etc.).
  3. It’s OK to sayThe Johns Hopkins Hospital is ranked best in Marylandor best regionally, in seven mid-Atlantic states, but not best in the city, the county, the tristate area, etc.
  4. Adhere to the magazine’s nomenclature for specialty rankings.
  5. In ads about theU.S. Newsrankings, do not include information about other rankings, awards or distinctions. This rule does not apply to noncommercial material and press releases.
  6. Contrary to Associated Press style, use#1,#2, etc., not No. 1 or No. 2.




website addresses Never include http. Do not include www. unless necessary.

Western Maryland

A Woman’s Journey Italicize 


World Wide Web, web, website, webpage, webcam, webcast, webfeed


Capitalize as a mathematical symbol.


X-ray technologist Not X-ray technician




ZIP code


Correct Use of Johns Hopkins Names

In an organization as complex as Johns Hopkins Medicine, it’s not surprising when people are confused about when to use what name. It’s legally important to use the various Johns Hopkins names correctly, whether it’s in a contract, on a website, in printed materials (including books and papers) or for public speaking.

Please note that these guidelines aren’t meant to replace the Johns Hopkins Medicine branding standards, found at hopkinsmedicine.org/graphicstandards.


When to capitalize the

Capitalize The in The Johns Hopkins UniversityThe Johns Hopkins Hospital and The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation. Also capitalize The in The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center and The Joint Commission.

When referring to a school at The Johns Hopkins University, use lowercase the when using the full name (The course is offered by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). However, when the use is possessive, The should be upper case (She is a faculty member at The Johns Hopkins University’s school of medicine).


The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation

This name refers only to the legal entity employing 1,200-plus people who support several legal entities with legal, financial, human resources and compliance services, among others.


Johns Hopkins Health System

This term does not refer to the legal entity The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation.

Johns Hopkins Health System refers to several organizations, including The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries, such as:

  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
  • Johns Hopkins Employer Health Programs (EHP)
  • Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Regional Physicians
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Suburban Hospital

The five hospitals aside from The Johns Hopkins Hospital should be called member organizations, not entities or affiliates.

Johns Hopkins HealthCare LLC and the Johns Hopkins Care at Home are not part of the Johns Hopkins Health System because The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation owns only 50% of each one. These are, however, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine (see below).

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is not part of the Johns Hopkins Health System.

It is critical to identify the legal entity in a contract or in an application for a grant, license, etc.


Johns Hopkins Medicine

This term does not refer to a legal entity.

Johns Hopkins Medicine refers to the vehicle through which internal operational activities and external initiatives are coordinated. It includes the following:

  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
  • Johns Hopkins Employer Health Programs (EHP)
  • Johns Hopkins HealthCare
  • Johns Hopkins Care at Home and subsidiaries
  • Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine International
  • Johns Hopkins Regional Physicians
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Suburban Hospital

Johns Hopkins Medicine should be used when referring to all of the above collectively.

It is critical to identify the legal entity in a contractor in an application for a grant, license, etc.


Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

This term does not refer to a legal entity.

It is an internal term that is sometimes used to refer collectively to:
      ● The Johns Hopkins Hospital

  • ● Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • ● Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • ● Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Sometimes this term is used to refer to more schools/member organizations than these four, but that is discouraged.

It is critical to identify the legal entity in a contract or in an application for a grant, license, etc.

Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare

Johns Hopkins Institutions

This is an internal term that does not refer to a legal entity.

This term is sometimes used to refer collectively to all of the following:

  • The Johns Hopkins University
  • The Johns Hopkins Health System Corporation
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
  • Johns Hopkins Employer Health Programs (EHP)
  • Johns Hopkins Health Plans
  • Johns Hopkins Care at Home and subsidiaries
  • Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine International
  • Johns Hopkins Regional Physicians
  • Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Suburban Hospital

It is critical to identify the legal entity in a contract or in an application for a grant, license, etc.



98 North Broadway

550 Building

929 Building (in Eager Park, includes graduate student housing)

1830 Building

2024 Building

Alfred Blalock Building

Anne and Mike Armstrong Medical Education Building (per Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Feb. 11, 2016)

Anne M. Pinkard Building (school of nursing)

Billings Administration Building

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Bond Street Annex

Bunting Family and Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Family Cancer Research Building, CRB I (Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center)

Carnegie Building

The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center tower (Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is in The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center)

Children’s House

CMSC (formally Johns Hopkins Children’s Center)

David H. Koch Cancer Research Building, CRB II (Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center)

David Rubenstein Child Health Building, Rubenstein Child Health Building, Rubenstein Building on second reference

Denton A. Cooley Fitness & Recreation Center

Edward D. Miller Research Building, Miller Research Building (formally known as Broadway Research Building)

Hackerman-Patz House

Halsted Building

Hampton House

Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building (Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center)

Hunterian Laboratory for Surgical and Pathological Research

Hurd Hall

Immunogenetics Laboratories

Joanne Rockwell Memorial House

John G. Rangos Sr. Building, Rangos Building

Johns Hopkins Federal Credit Union

Kennedy Krieger Institute

Levi Watkins, Jr., M.D., Outpatient Center

Marburg Building (Brady Urological Institute)

Maumenee Building

Meyer Building (psychiatry, rehabilitation)

MRI Building

Nelson/Harvey Building

Osler Building

Park Building

Pathology Building

Phipps Building

Physiology-Biophysics Building

Preclinical Teaching Building, PCTB)

Richard Starr Ross Research Building, Ross Research Building

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Building, Smith Building, and Wilmer Bendann Surgical Pavilion (Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins)

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Tower, Sheikh Zayed Tower (named in honor of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan)

Skip Viragh Outpatient Cancer Building

Thomas B. Turner Building

Traylor Research Building

William H. Welch Medical Library

Wilmer Eye Institute

Wood Basic Science Building

Woods Research Building (Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute)


Johns Hopkins Hospital East Baltimore medical campus addresses:

The official legal address of record:
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21287
(The above address is for departments or centers not in the Zayed or Bloomberg buildings, such as those in the Blalock Building, Brady Urological Institute, Carnegie Building, Halsted Building, Marburg Building, Maumenee Building, Meyer Building, Nelson/Harvey Tower and Osler Building)

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
1800 Orleans St.
Baltimore, MD 21287
(The Johns Hopkins Hospital main entrance is at 1800 Orleans St. Patients and visitors enter through the Sheikh Zayed Tower or Bloomberg Children’s Center.)

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center   
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
401 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21287

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
601 N. Caroline St.
Baltimore, MD 21287

Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute        
The Johns Hopkins Hospital                          
600 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21287

Rubenstein Child Health Building — Harriet Lane Clinic
Johns Hopkins Harriet Lane Clinic
200 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21287

Wilmer Eye Institute Bendann Surgical Pavilion 

The Johns Hopkins Hospital
400 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21287


Caroline Street Garage (for patients/staff members)

McElderry Garage (patients/staff members)

Orleans Street Garage (patients)

Rutland Garage (staff members)

Washington Street Garage (staff members)

Weinberg Garage (for Kimmel Cancer Center parking only)


Albert H. Owens Jr. Auditorium

Arcade Conference Room (Zayed Tower)

Chevy Chase Bank Conference Center (Zayed Tower)

Hurd Hall

Schaffer Auditorium (Bloomberg Children’s Center)

Tilghman Auditorium

Turner Auditorium

Turner Concourse (note that the word the does not precede Turner Concourse)

Weinberg Ceremonial Lobby


Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Armstrong Institute

Brady Urological Institute of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Brady Institute, Brady Institute 

Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center,  (always on first reference) Johns Hopkins Howard County or the medical center on second reference

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (always on first reference) Johns Hopkins Bayview or the medical center on second reference

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, school of public health, JHSPH

Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, Brain Science Institute, BSi

Johns Hopkins Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, Center for Innovation, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the Children’s Center (Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is in The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center building.)

Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

Johns Hopkins Harriet Lane Clinic, Harriet Lane Clinic

Johns Hopkins HealthCare

Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute

Johns Hopkins Care at Home, Care at Home

Johns Hopkins in Singapore 

Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, IBBS 

Johns Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering, ICE

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins (first reference in donor materials and Hopkins Medicine magazine), Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Kimmel Cancer Center, Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center at Suburban Hospital

Johns Hopkins McKusick/Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine International

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, Outpatient Center

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, school of nursing

Skip Viragh Center for Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Research and Patient Care

Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute,

Wilmer Eye Institute


the Department of Medicine, the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, the radiology department (the department, in later reference)

the Division of Cardiology

Departments have directors, not chairs. Only committees are headed by chairs.

Divisions have chiefs or directors (their choice).

Head — always lowercased — is an appropriate neutral word, as either a noun or a verb, for any such position.

The Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurosurgery are separate departments.


courtesy titles In general, do not use courtesy titles such as Mrs., Mr., Dr. Courtesy titles may be used in obituaries, bios and “Dear Colleague” letters.

formal titles Capitalize a formal title when it comes before a name and if there is no comma after the title (Dean John Jones, Mayor Bernard Young). An exception, per the Associated Press, is professor, unless the title is professor emeritus. Also capitalize a named professorship both before and after a name (Distinguished University Professor of Biology James Smith; James Smith, Distinguished University Professor of Biology). Lowercase a formal title after a name (John Jones, dean of the school of medicine). Do not capitalize occupational descriptions (lobbyist John Johnson).

Jr., Sr., III Do not use them. Exceptions include in bylines and in signature lines on letters; to distinguish among people who might be confused with one another; in donor or directory lists; in references to widely known people whose names always have such a designation (Sammy Davis Jr.). Do not use a comma after the name.

Middle initials Do not use them unless requested to do so by a source. Exceptions include in bylines and signature lines on letters, to distinguish among people with the same first and last names (urologist John P. Gearhart met with gynecologist John D. Gearhart), in donor or directory lists, and in references to widely known people whose names always have a middle initial (Edward R. Murrow).

Nicknames Use quotation marks (R. Robinson “Bricks” Baker).

Person-first identification Don’t classify people by their disease or condition.

Right: people with diabetes

Wrong: diabetics


apostrophes Per Associated Press style regarding possessives, use an apostrophe after Johns Hopkins (Johns Hopkins’ legacy, Johns Hopkins’ medical school).

Don’t use an apostrophe when Johns Hopkins is used as an adjective (Johns Hopkins nurses).

brackets Use to set off clarifying words inserted in a direct quote. (She said, “I’ll be back at 3 [a.m.] to get my things.”)

commas Use commas to separate elements in a series, but do not use a comma before the concluding conjunction, which is known as a serial comma. (The flag is red, white and blue.) Exceptions include if an element of the series requires a conjunction or if a serial comma is needed for clarity.

Example: He works with medical students, urology residents, and fellows in surgery and pathology.

Use a comma before a conjunction in a compound sentence. (The doctor’s office was sparsely furnished, and it was located on the basement level.)

dashes Use an em dash (the length of three hyphens) to denote an abrupt change in thought, or to set off incidental material (dashes are frequently more effective than parentheses for this purpose) or a series within a sentence. (He blew in the office like he usually does — the door whacks the wall — and said I could talk to him while he was packing.) (Everyone at the hospital — physicians, providers, faculty and staff members, patients, visitors — must follow the guidelines.) Use a space before and after an em dash.

Use an en dash (the length of two hyphens) to separate date, time, page, age and other ranges (Dec. 3–5pages 27–31, 3–5 p.m., children age 3–5).

hyphenating compound adjectives Per the Associated Press, hyphenate a compound modifier (two or more adjectives) if needed for clarity. Do not use a hyphen after the word “very” or a word ending in “ly” (a very good timean easily remembered rule).

ellipsis Treat an ellipsis as a three-letter word, constructed with three periods and a space before the first and after the last period. See AP’s entry for additional guidance.

single quotation marks Use in a headline instead of double quote marks. (Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth Dies.)

Do not use within double quote marks when the speaker is making an informal remark or asking a rhetorical question. (“At the time, people said, How ridiculous!”)


dangling modifiers A participial phrase at the beginning of the sentence must refer to the subject of the sentence.

Right: To hear her talk, one would think she charted a course in elementary school.

Wrong: To hear her talk, she charted a course in elementary school.

Right: Young and inexperienced, he thought the job would be easy.

Wrong: Young and inexperienced, the task appeared easy to him.

which and that The nondefining which is used in nonessential clauses. Because it is parenthetic, the clause is set off with commas. (The radiologist read the CT scan, which showed a tear in the liver, and conferred with the attending physician.) The defining that is used for essential clauses, which are not set off with commas. (The CT scan that showed a tear in the liver concerned the radiologist.)