Puru Thapa, M.D.Puru
Director of UAMS Student and Resident Wellness Program
Professor of Psychiatry, UAMS
Director of UAMS Mindfulness Program, Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher
Formal training in MBSR
Dr. Puru Thapa can be reached at ThapaPurushottamB@uams.edu

Dr. Thapa, a Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the UAMS Student and Resident Wellness Program, was first introduced to Mindfulness seven years ago in a workshop on Dialectical Behavior Therapy, an evidence-based program to help individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder.  He was impressed with the scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of Mindfulness as not only as an adjunct treatment for numerous medical and psychiatric conditions but also for the management of stress and burnout in non-clinical populations.  Recognizing how this practice has profoundly affected his personal life and growth, he has been a strong advocate for promoting Mindfulness to the students at UAMS since he took over the Student Wellness Program. He has given lectures on the science and practice Mindfulness in various forums, taught Mindfulness-based courses to students, supported training for his staff with whom he offers regular drop-in guided Mindfulness sessions.  With a grant he received from the UAMS Chancellor’s Circle of Excellence Fund, he has established a UAMS Mindfulness program through which he has supported Koru Mindfulness Teacher Certificate training for seven faculty/staff from UAMS who have been offering classes to students with plans to expand to residents, and eventually faculty.  Dr. Thapa is a certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher and has also received training in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR).


PeleFeliciano “Pele” Yu, Jr., M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, Biomedical Informatics and Public Health, UAMS
Chief Medical Information Officer, Arkansas Children’s Hospital
Associate Director of UAMS Mindfulness Program, Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher
Dr. Pele Yu can be reached at FBYu@uams.edu

Dr. Yu became interested in meditation through the positive personal experience of mindful practices and the reliability of the stress management techniques used during meditation when applied in real life. The depth and transformative power of this practice became an essential part of his daily life, and it inspired him to share his experience with physician colleagues, medical students, house staff and family members. Dr. Yu completed the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training Intensive through the University of California (San Diego) Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute and is a Certified Koru Mindfulness Instructor. He regularly facilitates Koru Mindfulness Classes at the UAMS academic medical center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.


Tim AtkinsonTim Atkinson, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of Education, Internal Medicine
Instructional Educational Specialist, Graduate Medical Education
Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher
Dr. Tim Atkinson can be reached at TNAtkinson@uams.edu

Dr. Atkinson started practicing mindfulness and mindfulness meditation to combat anxiety. He found that the results were amazing, and he wanted to share this information with others.  After studying the positive research results on mindfulness-based interventions for anxiety, depression, and stress, Dr. Atkinson  felt it would be good to know how to teach these practices to others who might need an extra tool for working through stressful work cultures and stressful organizational climates. Dr. Atkinson is a Certified Koru Mindfulness Teacher and regularly facilitates Koru Mindfulness Classes and noon drop-in sessions on the UAMS and ACH campuses. He is currently seeking additional certification through the Mindfulness Exercises Institute and has completed formal training Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) techniques. 


DeniseDenise Compton, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Geriatrics
Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging
Trained in Koru Mindfulness – on Pathway to Teacher Certification
Dr. Denise Compton can be reached at MDCompton@uams.edu

Denise Compton, Ph.D. psychologist, was first introduced to Mindfulness Meditation and the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn while leading a pain management group in a Rehabilitation Center during the 1990s.  In the intervening years, she has studied and practiced a variety of meditation techniques, but always returns to Mindfulness Meditation.   “It has certainly helped me through the most difficult periods of my life.  It provides a powerful relaxation and stress management tool.  However, I believe it is most powerful in increasing self-awareness and insight and generalizing to bring mindfulness to all everyday life activities.”  She recently completed training to become a Koru facilitator and is excited to be part of bringing Koru Mindfulness to the UAMS community.  “This program is very thoughtfully designed to give busy students lots of tools to help them navigate the stresses of their training – and do so in a very time-efficient and effective manner.”


VickiVicki Flynn, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Trained in Koru Mindfulness – on Pathway to Certification
Dr. Vicki Flynn can be reached at VFLYNN@uams.edu



AmberAmber Teigen, M.M.Sc., PA-C
Director of Didactic Education, Physician Assistant Studies
Assistant Professor, College of Health Professions
Trained in Koru Mindfulness – on Pathway to Teacher Certification
Amber Teigen can be reached at AMTeigen@uams.edu

Through daily mindfulness practice, Amber has experienced the deeply beneficial effects of mindfulness and meditation on personal health and well-being.  As a healthcare provider and PA student educator, she is excited to share the value of mindfulness and meditation with students, colleagues, and the Little Rock community. Amber has received training as a Koru Mindfulness Instructor and offers Mindfulness courses at UAMS and in the surrounding community. Along with her Koru Mindfulness Instructor certification, she also hopes to obtain her instructor certification in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Schools Certified Mindfulness Instructor and yoga.


JimJim Holland, LCSW
Licensed Therapist, Student Wellness Program
Trained in Koru Mindfulness – on Pathway to Teacher Certification
Jim Holland can be reached at JAHolland@uams.edu



AngieAngie Moore, LCSW
Licensed Therapist, Student Wellness Program
Trained in Koru Mindfulness – on Pathway to Teacher Certification
Angie Moore can be reached at ADMoore2@uams.edu

In the ’90s, Angie was introduced to meditation through extensive yoga practice and workshops. Finding that slowing down and paying attention are positives! She discovered an incredible richness in her experiences when she was able to stay present and in-the-moment. As a recovering perfectionist and constant “doer,” mindfulness provided her with calmness, balance, and a place for compassion and acceptance. As a clinical therapist, Mindfulness is integrated into her practice as a valuable tool. Her training includes meditation workshops from yoga masters, Koru Mindfulness Teacher Training Level 1, Mindfulness workshop with Ronald Siegel, Psy.D. She also teaches drop-in noon sessions and Koru Mindfulness classes for students and faculty on the UAMS campus.




Meshelle HelmsMeshelle Helms