Baystate Team Featured in the New York Times Magazine: "Inside the Chaotic, Cutthroat Gray Market for N95 Masks"

November 17, 2020
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As the COVID-19 pandemic raged and many hospitals were stymied by a lack of personal protective equipment leaving them to become inventive in their approach to obtaining essential protective gear for their frontline workers, Dr. Andrew W. Artenstein (Chief Physician Executive and Chief Academic Officer at Baystate Health) found himself involved in a scene straight out of a movie.

Following a lead, a deal was made with a professional broker for KN95 respirators and face masks made in China. Dr. Artenstein, who is chief physician executive for Baystate Health, along with members of the hospital’s supply chain team and a fit tester, traveled to an industrial warehouse in the mid-Atlantic region to examine the products. But even before they could send the funds by wire transfer to finalize the deal, two FBI agents arrived, and the Department of Homeland Security was also involved.

Dr. Artenstein wrote an article published in April in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “In Pursuit of PPE,” which detailed the experience he referred to as detailing “the unfortunate reality we face in the time of COVID-19.”

That story caught the attention of The New York Times and is now the subject of a front-page article in their Sunday, November 22, magazine.

Learn more about Dr. Artenstein on Baystate Health's leadership page. 

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