Gerds was a pre-nursing student at UCLA when the School of Nursing began to admit students to the new baccalaureate porgram; more than two decades after she graduated, she returned to the school and eanred her master's degree in 1977. During her harrer Gerds worked in staff nursing (mainly in maternity/labor and delivery settings), public heath nursing and teaching. She was a childbirth educator who taught training classe for childbirh educators and was active in the Childbirth Education Association. Gerd's teaching carreer included 18 years at California State University, Bakersfield, from which she retired in 2000. She was active in the community, working with th eMaternal, Child and Adolescent Health Council of Kern County, th Breastfeeding Promotion Coalition, Healthy Moters, Healthy Babies of Kern Counity, and the KCEOC Health Advisory Council. In tertirement Herds has been working with members of her church to assist people ine the congregation who need help in managing healthcare needs.