A Lifesaving Checkup

In the fall of 2021, Susan Senechek received a voicemail that changed her life forever.

Shortly after she joined the company, a colleague told Susan, senior principal communications representative, about Northrop Grumman’s Well-being Incentive Program. After learning she could earn a $500 incentive for receiving a routine annual physical, Susan scheduled her appointment. During the visit, the doctor checked her vitals, collected basic health information and asked a series of questions.

“The doctor asked me if I was up to date on my mammogram, which I last had in 2019. Admittedly, I had not been scheduling doctors’ appointments as I should have, using the pandemic as an excuse,” said Susan. The doctor wrote Susan a script for a mammogram, which she tossed in the back seat of her car, and her mind, thinking, “I will get around to it.”

Unexpected Chest Pains

Susan began feeling a pain in the left side of her chest. Concerned by the amount of discomfort she was experiencing, Susan contacted her medical plan provider to ask if she should visit an emergency room. The representative asked a series of questions, which determined Susan wasn’t suffering from a heart issue.

Wondering what could be causing the pain, Susan had a revelation. “I remembered the script in the back seat of my car and decided it might be time for that mammogram after all. I didn’t expect that scan would turn my world upside down.”

A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Just one day after Susan completed her mammogram screening, she received a phone call from an unknown number. She let the call go to voicemail. Later that evening, she picked up her phone and saw a transcribed voicemail from her doctor, asking to speak with her.

“Anyone knows that if the doctor leaves a message asking you to return the call, it’s generally not good news. And I was right.”

The doctor explained they saw something on Susan’s mammogram and wanted to see her immediately for a biopsy. “Though the radiologist couldn’t say it at that moment, it was written all over her face: breast cancer. It took me a bit before I could even say the words ‘I have breast cancer’ and even then, I felt like it couldn’t be my voice saying it.”

Treatment and Recovery

Fortunately, because Susan received her physical and completed the mammogram as advised, the cancer was discovered early. Her medical team at the University of California, Los Angeles developed an aggressive treatment plan, which consisted of a lumpectomy, removal of some lymph nodes and radiation.

Susan is now in remission and wants to use her story to inspire others. “I can’t tell you how many employees I’ve encouraged to take advantage of our Well-being Incentive Program. Though it was quite an unexpected outcome, it just may have saved my life.”

Participate in the Well-being Incentive Program

Annual physicals are a crucial step to managing your overall well-being and are key to the early detection of health problems. If you haven’t already, make it a priority to receive your annual physical as part of our Well-being Incentive Program. Like Susan, your participation could change your life.

If you’re enrolled in a Northrop Grumman medical plan*, you and your covered spouse or domestic partner can each earn a $500 incentive by completing three steps:

  1. Complete the Engage health assessment by Sept. 30, 2023.
  2. Receive an annual physical or complete a wellness screening at your local Quest Patient Service Center or via an at-home testing kit by Sept. 30, 2023.
  3. Verify completion of activities in Engage by Oct. 31, 2023.

By successfully completing these steps, you’ll receive a $500 contribution to your Fidelity HSA. If you aren’t enrolled in an HSA-eligible plan along with enrollment in an HSA, you’ll receive the incentive in your paycheck as taxable income.

Your Northrop Grumman medical plan pays for the cost of your annual physical and related preventative care screenings – with no out-of-pocket expense. For more information on the Well-being Incentive Program, review frequently asked questions.

*Participants in the HMSA, Kaiser Hawaii and Tricare Supplement plans aren’t eligible for the well-being incentive. Baltimore and Sunnyvale-represented employees are eligible for the Annual Physical Incentive Program.

 Susan with her now 20-year-old daughter, Leila, currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.

(photos left to right) By participating in the Well-being Incentive Program, Susan Senecheck was diagnosed with
breast cancer early and is now in remission.
Susan with her now 20-year-old daughter, Leila, currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.


Written by: Sam Vehslage

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