- Organizational References
- The Grants Section
- Style Guide Entries
A fine distinction exists between grammar and style. Grammar involves generally accepted rules that govern a language. We rarely (if ever) break these rules unless done for emphasis, and even then, a writer must proceed with caution.
Style is an art and a matter of choice, determined through the lens of the organization. Style can affect the written word, design choices, and branding treatment. The key to an effective organizational style is to choose one prevailing guide and apply it consistently throughout all facets of the organization, including personal communications.
For the Health Care Foundation, we have used a number of sources to inform our style. In most instances we defer to The Associated Press Stylebook, because it is a format widely accepted by communications departments and press alike. The major exception to this is our decision to use the serial comma — or the Oxford comma — which is a hotly contested subject among editors who become quite passionate in defense of, or opposition to, this little punctuation mark. For matters of spelling, we have selected Webster’s New World College Dictionary to resolve questions of spelling (always use first spelling); compound words (solid, hyphenated, open); accents; and word breaks.
It would be impossible, and quite frankly, redundant to list every entry in the dictionary and AP Stylebook. This style guide seeks only to highlight commonly used words, terms, and phrases, and to resolve confusion in writing and in design.
This style guide will evolve as Health Forward evolves. Terms may be re-evaluated or new entries added as the need arises. For suggested additions or questions, please contact Natasha Sims.
The Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) is igniting a culture of health by tackling pressing health issues for those in need. Through partnership and advocacy, we are working to transform communities through local and system-wide change so everyone has an opportunity for better health.
Organization name on first reference:
- Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward)
- Health Care Foundation (if used on branded communications that include the logo)
Organization on subsequent references:
- Health Forward (preferred reference)
- Health Care Foundation
Organization in improper references:
- Health ForwardGKC
- Avoid whenever possible. While this is the proper acronym for Health Forward’s full organizational name (and the basis for the URL), the additional letters can cause confusion with audiences and does not help name recognition of Health Forward.
- The Foundation, or Foundation
- Avoid use of the Foundation as a replacement noun for Health Forward. This generic term causes confusion with other foundations and does not help name recognition of Health Forward.
- Health Forward Board of Directors
- Only capitalize board of directors when used with the organization’s name. Board, board members, directors, and board of directors are all acceptable for usage in formal and informal communication. These general terms should never be capitalized.
- Community Advisory Committee
- This is the committee’s legal formal name, and should be capitalized at all times. We discourage using the acronym CAC because it is not a common acronym outside of the organization. Using the full name of the committee will help build brand recognition of this entity and will serve as a reminder of oversight it provides to Health Forward and its role as a bridge between communities and organization.
- Health Forward prefers to use associates instead of the terms staff or employees. Associates can be used in formal or informal communications. Associates is never capitalized unless beginning a sentence.
- This is a familiar term used by Health Forward to denote the closeness between associates. Use should be restricted to informal communications, like blog posts. Family is also never capitalized unless beginning a sentence.
Health Forward does not use the term departments to distinguish between organizational areas of operations. In keeping with the family-style approach, the word, team, is preferred to show the closeness between associates. Names of teams should not be capitalized. Example: executive team, communications team.
Certain teams may be broken down into subteams. For example, the grants team has an additional three subcategories that align with the focus areas: mental health team, safety net team, healthy communities team. Following the established rule, these should not be capitalized.
Health Forward teams include:
- communications team
- evaluation team
- executive team
- finance team
- grants team
- mental health team
- healthy communities team
- safety net team
- operations team
- policy team
Health Forward has three focus areas: mental health, healthy communities, and safety net. This section will dive into the specifics of how we discuss and write about these areas and Health Forward grants.
The following are the official names of Health Forward’s grants. Note the plural and capitalization:
- Healthy Communities Grants
- Mental Health Grants
- Safety Net Grants
The plural form is used because Health Forward awards more than one grant in each category. Remember that acronyms for these names are never acceptable in public conversations! Save the HC, MH, and SN for the office meetings and internal emails.
To capitalize or not, that is the question
The word, Grants, in each of the above instances, is capitalized because it is officially part of the name. Grants should not be capitalized elsewhere, however. See grants in the style guide entries section for more details on general usage. Likewise, mental health, healthy communities, and safety net should not be capitalized when used in reference to the general field of health. Examples include mental health services, safety net clinic, and building healthy communities.
When discussing aspects of Health Forward grants, like application, grantee, webinar, etc., Health Forward’s approved style is to use capitalization of the grant type to note the connection to official funding. Examples include, Mental Health application, Healthy Communities grantee, Safety Net webinar. Since webinar, application, and grantee are not part of the official grant name, they are not capitalized.
Quick check: You should capitalize Healthy Communities, Mental Health, and Safety Net only if you are discussing Health Forward’s grantmaking. In other instances, don’t cap it!
Focus area vs funding area
Associates should use focus areas, or areas of focus. Do not use funding area because it does not adequately encompass all of Health Forward’s work, which is not exclusive to grantmaking. Health Forward’s three focus areas are mental health, healthy communities, and safety net. These are not capitalized because they are used as a general description of the health fields, and are not direct references to Health Forward’s grants. Refrain from using safety net health care in communications.
Program vs project
Program is preferred to project to describe services and programs offered by grantees. This is consistent usage with the title of program officer.
Be deliberate about capitalization. Scattering unnecessary capital letters throughout paragraphs can distract and confuse readers from the message we are trying to convey.
Here are some tips on what to capitalize:
- Acronyms will always be capitalized, but the full phrase they replace may not be. Example: U.S. spelled out would be United States, and that is capitalized because it is the name of a country. ER spelled out would be emergency room, and that is not capitalized because it does not refer to any specific hospital emergency room.
- Proper nouns and names should be capitalized. These are unique identifiers for a specific person, place, or thing, like England and Ross.
- Lowercase the common name elements of names in plural usages. Example: Clay County; Clay and Cass counties.
- Health Forward’s focus areas are not capitalized: healthy communities, safety net, and mental health. However, they ARE capitalized when we discuss our grants: Healthy Communities Grants, Safety Net Grants, Mental Health Grants. Note the plural. These are the official names of Health Forward funding rounds and should be capitalized. Additionally, capitalize only Healthy Communities, Safety Net, and Mental Health when used in grant discussion: Healthy Communities grantees, Safety Net application, Mental Health webinar, etc. See The Grants Section for more details on this subject.
ampersand — Do not use. Replace with and instead.
apostrophe — An apostrophe’s main purpose is to show possession or a word contraction. In plural nouns ending in S, add only the apostrophe. Example: girls’. There are limited instances where an apostrophe will be used to make something plural. Example: do’s and don’ts. As a general rule though, apostrophes should not be used to make a word or acronym plural. If in doubt, play it safe and reword the sentence to avoid the apostrophe altogether.
Apostrophes should not be used as a replacement for quotation marks, except when quoting within a quote. Example: She said, “I heard him say, ‘I don’t care how we fund the airport.’”
comma — IN A SERIES: Follow serial comma guidelines; use commas to separate elements in a series, including before the conjunction. Example: Their colors were red, purple, and green. For detailed guidance on other comma usage, consult the punctuation section in the back of Webster’s New World College Dictionary.
dash — A dash is not the same thing as a hyphen. Dashes signify abrupt changes, pauses in the thought, or can offset a series of words. A dash is also physically longer than a hyphen. Dashes should be used sparingly. While they place a greater emphasis and importance on the offset clause, they are also disruptive to the reader. A single space precedes and follows the dash. On Windows, a dash is created by adding a space before and after two hyphens. On a Mac, a dash is created by holding down on shift-option-hyphen. You can also copy and paste this —
hyphen — A hyphen joins words and prefixes together; they also help the writer avoid ambiguity in compound adjectives. There should never be space around hyphens (Incorrect: low – income; Correct: low-income). When adding a prefix to a root word, it can be difficult to know if a hyphen is necessary. If there is any question about the spelling, in all cases, check the dictionary spelling first. Below are some general rules to help you navigate hyphens to reduce ambiguity in your writing, or if the word is not listed in the dictionary.
- If joining a prefix (re-, de-, anti-, pre-, etc.) to a root word that begins with a consonant, do NOT hyphenate. Example: teledentistry, antisocial.
- If the root word begins with a vowel however, use a hyphen. Example: de-escalate, de-emphasize).
- Hyphens may also be used to add clarity by combining confusing compound adjectives. Example: low-income families. In this example, the hyphen leaves no doubt the connection between low and income to depict the economic standing of the family.
- Hyphens are not the same as a dash. See dash entry for rules on this.
- There should not be spaces around hyphens.
period — Use only one space after a period. If you’re the sentimental type, feel free to collect your extra spaces in a blank document.
quotation mark — Commas and periods go inside quotation marks. Question and exclamation marks go outside the quotes, unless it is part of the quoted phrase. Examples: Caesar said, “Et tu, Brute?” Did you know that Steve Roling always said, “Pour water warmly”? To avoid the accidental hilarity and insincerity of unnecessary quotation marks, use italics to add emphasis to a word instead of quotation marks. If formatting is unavailable, quotation marks are acceptable.
Avoid acronyms specific to Health Forward whenever possible in writing and in public speaking (Health Forward is of course acceptable). In writing, use of acronyms creates paragraphs of alphabet soup: Health Forward awarded its 2018 HC FDGs in June. Health Forward’s TOC will better illustrate our grantmaking story.
Acronyms, like those in the previous examples, slow down readers, especially those unfamiliar with a specific organization’s jargon. When viewed through this lens, acronyms do not foster inclusivity.
In order to accommodate all audiences, both new and old, Health Forward associates should avoid acronyms.
Examples include: HC, SN, MH, ADG, FDG, TOC, CAC.
Exceptions to this include, Health Forward, academic degrees, and commonly accepted acronyms like IRS or ER (on second reference).
Scroll through and read interesting entries at your leisure, or use the links below to jump to a specific section.
a lot — Two words. Never alot. Never.
a.m. — Lowercase, no space after first period. Include a space between the number and a.m. (9 a.m.). See, time.
academic degrees — Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, etc., but there’s no possessive in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science. Note capitalization of the proper name of the degree as opposed to the general degree. Associate degree does not take an apostrophe and is not capitalized.
Use periods for abbreviated degrees. Example: B.A., M.S., Ph.D. Academic abbreviations after the name are unnecessary when an academic title is used. Incorrect: Dr. Bridget McCandless, M.D. Correct: Dr. Bridget McCandless; or Bridget McCandless, M.D.
acronyms — Avoid organization-specific acronyms whenever possible in writing and in public. Examples of acronyms to avoid: ADG, FDG, TOC, CAC. Exceptions to this include, Health Forward, academic degrees, and commonly accepted acronyms like IRS or ER (on second reference). If acronyms MUST be included, use a lowercase s to show plural. Example: RFPs. See acronyms section for more details.
adverse childhood experiences — Not capitalized, ACE acronym acceptable in reports.
Affordable Care Act — ACA acceptable on second reference. Avoid referring to it as Obamacare.
anti- — Generally, close up this prefix with root words unless the root word starts with an i or a capital letter—if it does, hyphenate. Example: anti-intelligence, anti-American, antispyware.
applicant defined grant — Not capitalized in any instance, no hyphen. Internally known as ADG (s.), ADGs (pl.). Use of acronym is discouraged as this is an organization-specific term. See acronyms for explanation.
billion — Never use the full numeric value of a figure above 1 million. Use numerals with billion and round to the nearest tenth or hundredth. Incorrect: $23,766,005,403. Correct: $23.8 billion; $2.65 billion. Monetary amounts should not be hyphenated, but hyphenate a number as a compound adjective in other usages. Example: 4 billion fans, a $2 billion contract, 5-billion-year history. See, dollar amounts.
board of directors — Only capitalize when used with the organization’s name. Example: Health Forward Board of Directors. Do not capitalize in other uses. Example: The board of directors voted on the new bylaws. The board member was 15 minutes late. See, organizational references.
bylaws — One word, no hyphen
capacity building (n.), capacity-building (adj.)
co- — Generally, use a hyphen between this prefix and a root word unless your dictionary combines the two (for example, cooperation, coordinate). But always use a hyphen when the resulting word denotes a shared occupation or status. Example: co-creator, co-host, co-parent, co-star, co-worker.
committee — Do not capitalize when used as a general term; capitalize only when part of a formal name. Example: Community Input Committee, Review Committee. Do not capitalize when the committee name is shortened or if it is a general committee and not formally named. Example: The board set up a review committee to update the bylaws. The Community Advisory Committee would not be capitalized when referenced as an advisory committee.
Community Advisory Committee — A governing body of Health Forward. Capitalize when the full name is used. Avoid use of acronym CAC. Using the full name of the committee will help build brand recognition and will serve as a reminder of the type of oversight it provides to Health Forward and its role as a bridge between communities and Health Forward.
community health center — Acceptable substitute for federally qualified health center. Do not capitalize, do not use CHC acronym.
community health worker — Do not capitalize. Do not use CHW as an acronym.
data — Plural; takes a plural noun. It should not be used with a singular verb.
de-wonking — Two words, no hyphen.
decision-maker (n.) — Try to reword as this term is not found in most dictionaries. When absolutely necessary or rewording the sentence is not possible, hyphenate. Consider using leader or lead in place of decision-maker.
decision-making (n., adj.) — Hyphenated. Example: The constituents were disappointed by the council’s decision-making. A leader must be confident in her decision-making skills. Use reasoning or logic as a replacement to be more concise and avoid office jargon.
departments — Health Forward does not use the term departments to distinguish between organizational areas of operations. In keeping with the family-style approach, the word, team, is preferred. Names of teams should not be capitalized. When referencing departments outside the organization, do not capitalize. See departments under Organizational References for more on Health Forward teams.
directions/places — Lowercase if indicating direction or location: west; western; north of Kansas City; in the southeast corner of Kansas.
Capitalize regions of the world and national regions: West, the Western world, Western civilization (but western, a westerner); the Midwest; the East.
Capitalize popular geographical place names: North Kansas City, The Northland, The Paseo, Troost Corridor. See, North Kansas City, Kansas City, North, Northland.
Use lowercase for generic parts of urban areas: the business district; the inner city; downtown. But capitalize greater when used with the name of a city to denote a whole metropolitan area: Greater Kansas City (but the greater Kansas City metropolitan area).
diversity and inclusion — Use the following constructions when speaking about race, ethnicity, gender, or ability. Inclusion of race, ethnicity, gender, and ability in this section is based on the diversity of Health Forward’s service area; other entries will be added as our area and grantmaking further diversifies. To speak about race, use black, white, and people of color as needed in general discussions. Lowercase in all instances. Capitalize and use hyphens when referencing Americans of specific origin descent. The following list is not exhaustive and should not be used interchangeably with the general terms already listed. Example: Caribbean-American, African-American, Vietnamese-American, etc.
Latino/Latina/Latinx and Native American should be capitalized in all usages.
When unclear of gender preference, use they and their/theirs as a singular noun in place of he/she, him/her, and his/hers in recognition of gender identity changes.
When unclear of a person’s preference between person-first or identity-first usage, use person-first construction to speak about ability and disease. Person-first identity emphasizes the person rather than the disability or disease. Example: people who are blind, people with diabetes. Read more about person-first vs identity-first language.
do’s and don’ts — Note apostrophes.
dollar amounts — Use figures and the $ sign in all except casual reference or amounts without a figure. Example: The grant amount totaled $2.5 million. We are investing our dollars wisely. Spell out million, billion in lieu of using numerals. Round to the nearest tenth or hundredth. Use numerals for amounts less than 1 million. Incorrect: $23,766,005,403. Correct: $23.8 billion; $15,233.
e.g. — Abbreviation meaning for example. Note periods. Don’t include a space after the first period. Include a comma after the last period. Example: Enter a search term (e.g., recipes, horoscopes, gifts) into the box. See, i.e.
email — One word, no hyphen.
emergency room — Acronym ER is acceptable on second reference.
emergency department — preferred term is emergency room, unless specifically talking about the emergency department of a hospital.
enewsletter — One word, no hyphen.
evidence-based practice — Note hyphen placement. Do not capitalize; do not use EBP outside of reports.
farmers market — No apostrophe. Do not capitalize unless it is part of a proper name.
federal poverty level — Do not capitalize, FPL acceptable on second reference and in graphs.
federally qualified health center — Do not capitalize and does not need a hyphen. FQHC(s) is an acceptable acronym in reports and in the company of safety net professionals. Community health center is acceptable synonym.
flier, flyer — Flier is the preferred term for an informational document. Flyer is the proper name of some trains and buses: The Western Flyer.
followup (n., adj.), follow up (v.)
full time, full-time — Never one word. Hyphenate only when used as a compound modifier. Example: She works full time. He has a full-time job.
fifty-fifty — Using numerals (“50-50”) is preferable.
foundation defined grant — Not capitalized in any instance. Internally known as FDG (s.), FDGs (pl.). Use of acronym is discouraged as this is an organization-specific term. See acronyms for explanation.
grant — Not capitalized unless it is part of a proper name. Example: Health Forward grants, but Healthy Communities Grants.
Greater Kansas City (n.) greater Kansas City area (adj.) — See, places/directions.
headlines — Format headlines the way you would a sentence: capitalize first word and proper names. Do not use initial capitals or all-caps for every word. This applies to the website. Print design offers more leeway but headline treatment should be consistent throughout the document.
health care (n.) (adj.) — Two words in all instances. Some might argue that as a modifier, health care could be joined as two words. This is correct. But, we will be using the two-word form in all usages to subtly enhance brand recognition of Health Forward’s name: Health Care Foundation. It also helps add a fine distinction between Health Care Foundation and its sister foundation, REACH Healthcare, which uses the combined form.
health information technology — Not capitalized; do not use HIT acronym.
health insurance marketplace — Do not capitalize.
health navigator — Do not capitalize.
healthy communities — Do not capitalize when referencing the field or Health Forward’s focus area. Do capitalize when referencing Health Forward grants. Internally known as HC but this acronym should never be used for public communications. See the grants section for more information.
Healthy Communities Leadership Academy — Capitalized when full name is used. Avoid using HCLA. If any variation of the name is used, do not capitalize. Example: leadership academy, academy.
i.e. — Abbreviation meaning that is. Note periods. Don’t include a space after the first period. Include a comma after the last period. See, e.g.
initiatives — Do not capitalize initiatives unless it contains a formal name. Initiative should not be capitalized as part of a formal name. Example: Let’s Move! initiative, hospital diversion initiative.
KanCare — Kansas’ Medicaid program. Note capitals.
kickoff (n., adj.), kick off (v.) — Example: They scheduled the event kickoff for Thursday night. The blog post and press release would kick off the food insecurity campaign.
letter of determination — Not capitalized.
letter of intent (s.) letters of intent (pl.) — Not capitalized, do not use LOI to replace letter of intent.
logic model — Not capitalized. See, models.
low income (n.) low-income (adj.)
mental health — Do not capitalize when referencing the field or Health Forward’s focus area. Do capitalize when referencing Health Forward grants. Internally known as MH but this acronym should never be used for public communications of any kind. See the grants section for more information.
million — Never use the full numeric value of a number above 1 million. Use numerals with million. Round to the nearest tenth or hundredth place after the decimal. Incorrect: $23,766,005. Correct: $23.8 million; $2.65 million. Monetary amounts should not be hyphenated, but hyphenate a number as a compound adjective in other usages. Example: 4 million fans, a $2 million contract, 5-million-year history. See, dollar amounts.
MO HealthNet — Missouri’s Medicaid program. Note space and capitals.
models — Do not capitalize or italicize models, theories, or hypotheses. However, you do capitalize someone’s name if used with model. Example: Einstein’s general theory of relativity, logic model.
multi- — In most cases, use a hyphen. Default to the preferred spelling in the dictionary if you have questions about a specific word
navigator — Do not capitalize.
No. 1 — Abbreviation for number one. Note capitalization. See, number one.
nondiscrimination — One word, no hyphen.
nonprofit — One word, no hyphen.
nontraditional — One word, no hyphen.
noon — Preferable to 12 p.m., but it is unneccessary to list both noon and 12 p.m.
North Kansas City; Kansas City, North — The former is Kansas City north of the river, the latter is a separate city just over the river from downtown KC.
Northland, The — An accepted shorthand way to refer to Kansas City north of the river, the portions that are in Platte and Clay counties.
number one (n., adj.) — No hyphen as an adjective. OK to abbreviate as No. 1.
numerals — Spell out numbers one through nine; use figures for numbers higher than 10. Spell out any number that begins a sentence, although it is preferable to reword so a number does not start the sentence. One exception to this rule is a year. Example: Incorrect: 150 organizations were funded last year. Correct: Health Forward funded 150 organizations last year. Correct: 2016 was an election year.
For ordinal numbers, spell out first through ninth; use figures for 10th and above.
In headlines, always use numerals.
p.m. — Lowercase, no space after first period. Include a space between the number and p.m. (9 p.m.). See, time.
percent — Spell out. Do not use the percent symbol, except in infographics.
places/directions — Lowercase if indicating direction or location: west; western; northeast Kansas; in the southeast corner of Kansas.
Capitalize regions of the world and national regions: West, the Western world, Western civilization (but western, a westerner); the Midwest; the East.
Capitalize popular geographical place names: North Kansas City, The Northland, The Paseo, Troost Corridor.
Use lowercase for generic parts of urban areas: the business district; the inner city; downtown. But capitalize “greater” when used with the name of a city to denote a whole metropolitan area: Greater Kansas City (but the greater Kansas City metropolitan area, greater Kansas City region).
please/thank you — Omit in publications and instructions in print and online mediums. The use is superfluous and can read as optional, especially in application instructions.
post- — Generally, close up this prefix with root words unless the root word starts with a capital letter; if it does, use a hyphen. Example: postproduction, post-Recession interest rates.
pre- — Generally, close up this prefix with root words unless the root word starts with an e or a capital letter — if it does, use a hyphen. Example: pre-election, pre-enrollment, preproduction, preplan. The exception to this is, of course, the annual application conference. See, pre-proposal conference.
pre-proposal conference — An event Health Forward hosts three times per year to coincide with the opening of a funding round. The conference name should be capitalized when used with the funding round. Example: Safety Net Pre-Proposal Conference, Mental Health Pre-Proposal Conference, Healthy Communities Pre-Proposal Conference. When used without the funding round, do not capitalize.
preventive — Preferred use to preventative.
preventative — Do not use. Preventive is the organizational preference
program — Preferred to project to describe services and programs offered by grantees. This is consistent usage with the title of program officer.
project — Do not use. See, program for more details.
proposal — Refers to an applicant’s formal grant submission. Note: proposals are the response to Health Forward’s proposal request from applicants, the request for proposal is an action on Health Forward’s end. The term request for proposal or the acronym RFP should not be used in place of proposal. When discussing, refer to their proposal and our request for proposal. Example: When you submit your proposal, include a letter of intent.; In our request for proposal, you will find a list of indicators and strategies to include in your proposal. Incorrect: Your RFP is due by noon.
prescription drug monitoring program — Do not capitalize. PDMP is an acceptable acronym in reports and in the company of safety net professionals. For space constraints, some variation of prescription drug monitoring program is acceptable after first use.
program — Only formal names should be capitalized; general program names should be lowercase. The word program itself should not be capitalized as part of a formal name. Example: Beans&Greens program, oral health program.
project — Only formal names should be capitalized; general project names should be lowercase. The word project should not be capitalized as part of a formal name. The exception to this is if an organization’s name contains the word Project. Example: Healthy Campus project, pilot project, Good Samaritan Project.
re-elect, re-election — Hyphenate.
really — Imprecise, filler word. Do not use in any instance.
request for proposal — Not capitalized, singular usage. Use acronym RFP sparingly. Note: the request for proposal is an action on Health Forward’s end, proposals are the response to that request from applicants. When discussing, refer to their proposal and our request for proposal. Example: When you submit your proposal, include a letter of intent.; In our request for proposal, you will find a list of indicators and strategies to include in your proposal. See, proposal, for more information.
safety net — Formerly known as safety net health care, now shortened to safety net. Do not capitalize when referencing the field or Health Forward’s focus area. Capitalize when referencing Health Forward grants. Internally known as SN but this acronym should never be used for public communications of any kind. See the grants section for more information.
seasons — Lowercase the names of seasons and derivatives (for example, springtime, wintertime). Don’t include a comma or of between a season name and a year. Incorrect: We will announce the grants in the fall of 2018. Correct: We will announce the grants in fall 2018.
setup (n., adj.), set up (v.) — One word as noun and adjective; two words as a verb. Example: The conference room setup was ideal for small gatherings. The event coordinator set up the display table.
startup (n., adj.), start up (v.) — One word as noun and adjective; two words as a verb. Example: The study also revealed that Missouri provides no state-level funding to support the planning, startup, and ongoing clinical operations of school-based health services.
states — Spell out the full name of the state in every instance. Never use the state ZIP code abbreviation except in an address.
such as — See this excellent post to determine if a comma is necessary when using such as in your writing. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/such-as-comma/
tele- — A prefix generally used without a hyphen. Example: teledentistry, telehealth, telemedicine.
than/then — Than is used in comparisons. Example: The grantee found another funding source, so their proposal amount was less than in previous years. Then is used to sequence events. Example: We walked down the street, then we turned left. Quick check: if you have a word ending in -er, it is likely that you’ll follow it with than — rather than, bigger than, taller than, faster than, more than, etc. More than can be tricky though, because it can be separated by another word, more important than, more colorful than, more powerful than, etc.
thank you/please — Omit in publications and instructions in print and online mediums. The use is superflous and can read as optional, especially in application instructions.
that/which — Use that for essential clauses (a section of a sentence that cannot stand as a sentence itself but includes information that is essential to the meaning of the sentence). Do not use a comma to offset essential clauses. Example: I remember that Steve Roling threw the opening pitch at a Royals game. Use which for nonessential clauses (a section of a sentence that adds useful or interesting information, but is nonessential to the meaning of the sentence). Use commas to offset nonessential clauses. Example: The Royals, which many Health Forward associates fully and fanatically support, were not a good team the year Steve Roling retired.
Quick check: decide between the words by dropping the clause completely. If the sentence does not lose its meaning, use which. If it does, use that.
theory — Do not capitalize or italicize models, theories, or hypotheses. However, you do capitalize someone’s name if used with model. Example: Einstein’s general theory of relativity, logic model, theory of change.
theory of change — A tool to help organizations articulate social change initiatives. This is not capitalized.
time — Use figures except for noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes. Do not include spaces between figures and colon. The double-zero for minutes is unneccessary when used with a whole hour. Example: 9 a.m., 11:30 p.m., noon.
Avoid such redundancies as 10 a.m. this morning, or 11 p.m. Monday night.
thousand — Spell out in general usage; if used in a dollar amount, use the full numeral with the appropriate number of zeros. See, dollar amounts.
titles — Capitalize if the full, official title is used before or after the person’s name. Example: Health Forward Evaluation Officer Jane Mosley; Brad Hart, Health Forward Program Officer. Lowercase if partial title is used, or in general reference, or if the titles serve as occupational descriptions. Example: communications officer Jennifer Sykes; program officers, event coordinator. Capitalize formal titles only when directly in front of an individual’s name; a formal title is one that denotes a scope of authority, professional activity, or academic activity. Example: Gov. Eric Greitens, Dr. Bridget McCandless, Gen. Colin Powell. When formal titles are used as a general term, they should not be capitalized. Example: The governor campaigned for re-election. The doctor prescribed bed rest.
titles of publications, reports — Newspapers, publications, and reports should all be written in italics, unless the section of text is already italicized, then use plain text to make the title stand out. You must use italics each time the title is mentioned, even if shortening the name. Capitalize these titles.
Tobacco 21|KC — Capitalize. Note also placement of spaces and vertical line. Tobacco 21 is a national movement. Tobacco 21|KC is the regional initiative. Tobacco21 is incorrect.
tobacco use prevention — Do not hyphenate the compound adjective.
toward, towards — The preferred U.S. spelling is toward. Towards is specific to British English.
Triple Aim initiative — Note capitalization. This also might be known as IHI Triple Aim or IHI Triple Aim initiative. Do not capitalize initiative. See, initiative.
use — Preferred to utilize.
utilize — Do not use; replace with use.
very — Imprecise, filler word; do not use in any instance.
well — Hyphenate when part of a compound modifier. Example: The speaker is a well-known researcher.
which/that — Use that for essential clauses (a section of a sentence that cannot stand as a sentence itself but includes information that is essential to the meaning of the sentence). Do not use a comma to offset essential clauses. Example: I remember that Steve Roling threw the opening pitch at a Royals game. Use which for nonessential clauses (a section of a sentence that adds useful or interesting information, but is nonessential to the meaning of the sentence). Use commas to offset nonessential clauses. Example: The Royals, which many Health Forward associates fully and fanatically support, were not a good team the year Steve Roling retired.
A quick way to decide between the words is to drop the clause completely. If the sentence does not lose its meaning, use which. If it does, use that.
X-ray — Note capitalization and hyphen.